Executive Director’s Message | October 2021

Executive Director’s Message | October 2021

Bridging the Gap between Research and Public

Take a moment, sit down, observe your surroundings, and try to think how everything is working around and inside you. Think about how billions of neurons are activated as you mind floods with questions and as you try to find the answers. What goes on in an engine of a car as it speeds by? Why is it more humid today? How did the languages we talk in develop over the years? These questions can go on and on.

Fortunately, due to advancements in science, research, and technology over the years, we can find answers to many such questions which spark our curiosity. However, there are infinite secrets in our universe and beyond, that still need to be unraveled.

We live in the information age and endless streams of research and knowledge about any topic are accessible at a click of a button. However, despite this overflow of information, there is still a disconnect between the public and research. It is understandable that not everyone has to be an expert in everything and understanding high-level research requires background study developed through years of study. However, more can be done to bring people and research closer and educate how the ongoing research around us is impacting our lives and what it means for us and our future generations.

Research, while done behind a laboratory’s closed doors or a pile of heavy books in a library, can have a profound impact on our communities and therefore it is crucial that we, as members of the academic and research community, engage the public. To play our part in this, we hold several events around the year such as research outcome seminars and conferences to disseminate the outcomes of our funded research to academic and research circles as well as the public.

Fall is a particularly busy time for us on this front especially for our capacity building activities. Last week, we hosted the thirteenth annual edition of the Undergraduate Research Experience Program Competition along with the Best Representative Image of an Outcome Competition for the sixth year. You can learn more about the participants and winners of both these competitions in this month’s Research Matters. These competitions help us engage the public, inspire them, give them an opportunity to view research through different perspectives and most importantly, provide them insight into the important role research and development play in our lives.

In case you missed the competitions, you can browse through our website to watch the finalists in action. Moreover, we are also holding the National Scientific Research and Innovation Week from 1st to 4th November. I invite you all to join us and witness the thriving research culture at the K-12 level in Qatar by visiting the NSRIW Virtual Fair.

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