Thursday, October 06, 2011

There is no hope of doing perfect research


There is no hope of doing perfect research appears to me as if someone says that there is no sense in breathing due to pollution in air. Human mind is inquisitive, introspective and constructive. With such beautiful tools if one keeps thinking negative like the title statement, probably nothing new will happen, all mankind will come to a standstill with no progress at all. Can we say that all doctors should be banned to treat patients as they keep practising? Since they keep practising and never become perfect, probably they have no right to play with any patient’s life. But actually in real life scenario they do ample amount of practise during their medical studies.

Research word if broken in two parts becomes re + search. It means whatever has been searched so far is not complete or perfect and hence need to be redone in a better or a different way to find out much better or more optimized solution. As long as a scientist’s theory or invention is not proven wrong or incomplete, it is treated as a complete and proven work. Anything that has been proven by someone along with facts and evidences in hand, it hold good and valid; unless someone else proves it wrong with counter facts and evidences.

All researches do not result into success. There have been instances where scientists have spent years of efforts on finding out some new facts or evidences but in vain. Probably the number of failed researches would be much higher as compared to successful researches. But that does not stop mankind to stop being innovative.

Lot of researches have been done so far and have resulted into useful products or objects in our life. Wheel, needle, fire, candle, bulb, hand pump, motor, engine etc. are all results of research only. It did not happen in a day that Marconi invented radio or Madam Curie discovered radium. All such discoveries and inventions have got a final shape only after long years or hard work in shape of research.

What we have today does not prove is final or perfect. For example, today we need a match stick to light a candle. Tomorrow, some new research may find out a way of lighting a candle with a clap. Who knows what we dream today in out fantasy world would not become a reality. We never imagined so much of revolution by internet 20 years back. It is not all a result of researches done by scientists and engineers?

Without research there would be no fact findings and hence whatever we do will go haywire. How a nation comes to know about the total population, per capita income, gross consumption of food or inflation rate is all result of ongoing research. Research in a way is process of fact finding or collection of raw information to fetch out some desirable results from it by way of analysis. Definitely whatever we research must have a scientific way to move in right direction.
C V Raman (Chandrashekhar Venkat Raman) was the first Indian to win Nobel Prize in Science. He started his research work in 1907 but it was in 1918 that is preliminary scientific writings appeared in Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science as bulletins. Bulletin (Bull.) 6 and 11 consisted of his work on Maintenance of Vibrations and Bull. 15 comprised of Theory of the Musical Instruments. In 1928 his article appeared in 8th volume of the Handbuch der Physik (Handbook of Physics) about his theory on musical instruments. His long years of exploration on his favourite subject ‘ Molecular diffraction of light brought out fruitful result in 1922 when his first report on the subject got published.

C V Raman did not stop here and kept his research on further despite not too much of support from other scientists. Finally he broke the ice on February 28, 1928 when he discovered Radiation Effect (A New Radiation, Indian Journal of Physics, 2, 1928, 387p) that resulted into Nobel Prize for him in 1930.

Necessity is the mother of invention. This holds good in case of another great Indian IT revolutionary personality Sabeer Bhatia who gave birth to Hotmail. It was his urge to communicate with his friend under strict atmosphere while working at Apple Computers in U.S. The desire came as a requirement of confidential or anonymous way of communicating with his friend Jack Smith, working in the same office. They wanted to exchange mails but without getting them coming into the notice of their office administration. And thus Hotmail took birth. Hotmail was later bought over by Microsoft. Hotmail probably was a mixed result of necessity and urge that forced Sabeer to do his research on making a high quality product Hotmail that made him world famous overnight.

Same is the case with Mark Zuckerberg who gave birth to facebook that has revolutionised the whole world in terms of social networking. Facebook is having the largest number of subscribers over the globe. Is it not a result of research? Is it fluke? No. Is it ultimate? It is final? Is it end? No. Someone someday may come out with another product or service that will make the current service or product that is at peak to fall down to bottom. That is the meaning of research that findings and improvements never end.

Many a times it happens that some intelligent work or research is done or gets published but gets subdued because of peer rivalry or politics. Many important researches would have gone into dustbin for such reasons.

Overall Research is nature of human being. We don’t prefer to get satisfied with what we have today. We don’t get convinced with what we are using today by treating it as an ultimate. We always strive for improvement, always trying to find out something better than what we have in hand. This curious nature of human being will never let him stop by and say good bye to research work. Innovation will never end and thus will be the case with Research. Who are we to declare whether a research is perfect or not?
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