Advancements of Scientific Research


By Jessica Reynolds 

Over the many decades involving research, knowledge, and the progress of science, we can see and understand the differences in how scientists have changed their processes. Studying electrons in the 1900’s was vastly different from the way we study electrons today; not only with the modern technology we have available, but with regulations that have been implemented.

Science and technology are constantly growing and changing; this will never stop. We have many people, ideas, and events to thank for the way our knowledge about how everyday things or incurable diseases are shaping our lives.

The Internet

Back in the day, Einstein would have ran the other way if he were to have seen the invention of the world wide web, or what we like to call the internet. One of Einstein’s quotes about technology has a lot of impact on today’s generation, and just how true it is: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Now, whether you agree with him or not, technology has greatly impacted the way we communicate, and the way we live our lives.

However, we have a lot to owe to this “surpassing”, as Einstein called it. Without the advancement of technology, there wouldn’t have been an advancement of knowledge.

Because of the internet, scientific studies and experiments are more accessible, making it easier for people to comment, give advice, and even replicate the study to find their very own studies. With the internet, come more communication and a steadier flow of knowledge.

It’s almost like a give and take, a push and pull. I tell you this piece of information, you tell your friends, your friend thinks about it, and decides to see for himself what his findings are. Without this platform of spreading knowledge and findings, it would take months—maybe even years—to hear about a study, and conduct the findings for yourself.

The internet (even though Einstein had originally said technology would create a generation of idiots), has implemented a whole base of knowledge to help spread and articulate. A scientist could find the cure for cancer one night, and you’d be able to read about it the next day, maybe even that night. We have the advancement of technology to thank for that.

New Regulations

Now, technically these aren’t “new”, but when conducting research in the past, there weren’t many restrictions in what you could or could not do. This is both a blessing and a curse for scientists. Back in the 1800s, it wouldn’t have been difficult for you to get your hands on a group of animals to freely study and test on. However, if you were to do the same thing now, you could possibly end up landing yourself in jail or having to pay a fee.

Scientists (including Charles Darwin, who collected a vast amount of different plant species from different countries in 1830), had no restrictions when it came to scientific study. This isn’t the case today. There are many regulations and priorities that need to be considered before conducting any sort of study or experiment.

Before conducting any study, you have to implement safety precautions; you have to think about the health of yourself and others, any physical dangers that may occur, and you have to view any experiment from an ethical standpoint.

Different Degrees

The way we separate knowledge has changed as well. Before the advancements in technology and awareness, most scientists would study whatever they could get their hands on. Not to say this was a mistake in anyway—the difference today being that scientists have a field of study, and specialize (most of the time) in one area.

This makes it so each field of study becomes a profession; these scientists can eventually claim that they are an expert in what they study. There are a vast amount of different studies you can take upon—to something as detail oriented as dendrochronology (the study of climate change with looking at tree rings), or something as wide as archeology.

With becoming more deeply involved in one specific field of study, we are able to gather more definitive and precise information. Concepts and ideas that you never thought imaginable are brought to attention and to light, making the world a place with endless possibilities for knowledge. Scientific research is constantly improving and growing—what we find and conclude today may be counteracted with new findings 10 years from now. It’s an exciting adventure, and without the new advances in technology, the more precise degrees of study, and the regulations that have taken place with researching, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

This post is written by Jessica Reynolds, a writer who strives to offer information and resources, including data about scientific posters to students and those interested in the sciences.