Reality check (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)
I started this blog at the end of 2013. For more than a year I have addressed issues in environmental science trying to enhance the perception to the broad audience of the work behind doing research and the role played by the researcher working towards finding answers that would help to keep or improve the world in which we live. But also, in the process, I try to incorporate those scientific values that I have gathered throughout my career hoping it would add some scientific input in the actual state of knowledge.
Performing research is not about being right, it is also about doing things in the right way so the outcome sets a firm argument to carry on from there or induce to originate a creative debate from where new ideas might see the light. There is no bad result in research if it has been carried out in a proper manner. If your approach or methodology is good enough, even identifying the inadequacy of a path, or line of thinking, will settle a milestone giving arguments to others in order to safe time and resources. Being wrong is not a mistake. May be the mistake is being afraid of being wrong so nobody will never know how many lines of thinking remain undiscovered yet.
In my case and in this blog, I want to point out that without the support behind from a full time position I have to be realistic about the scope of the research and analysis that I can perform. Any kind of research improves when it comes from a team effort.
For me, being in a constant search for a job opportunity only allows me to use my free time to try to stand out from the crowd showing what little I can do with few resources hoping someone might see my potential and give me an opportunity.
The proper research needed to develop an idea requires things which are beyond having access to data that I don´t have.
Primarily time, space and economic and institutional support. Time to understand the limitations of the data, time to organise the data, to choose the right tools to manipulate the data, to incorporate new tools and to learn how to use them. Time to keep updated with the work performed by other fellow researchers in the same field. And time to apply your brain power thinking and focusing in your research without being worried about how are you gonna pay your bills. Institutional support to have access to articles otherwise restricted by payment of a fee. Institutional support to be in contact with other researchers allowing discussion and exchange of ideas. And all of that being conscious of that there is a life behind all of that work that requires paying the bills for self sustainment and personal development.
So I really appreciate your attention into my blogs and I hope that I can make little steps that incorporate some “scientific value”. In case you have comments about disagreements I welcome any constructive discussion. If you like or agree with any of my thoughts I would appreciate the recognition of it so others might find them as well and even consider worthy to invest in having me as a team member offering me a position.
By all means, only by having your attention and your recognition makes me feel better.