What the heck is interesting research?

Daniel Lemire, Mar 24, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

We read a lot about innovation these days, and the focus of the literature is on the need to create value through invention. In other words, a discovery isn't 'innovation' until it has been applied to something (some people would say: it isn't 'innovation' until it has been commercialized, but I'm not an ideologue in that way). But what makes it useful? Daniel Lemire writes, "You should pick a problem that has 'some importance' and 'explain something significant'." You need to do both. "Research is a social process. If the output of your work does not change how a few people think… it was probably in vain." Image: Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig.

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