Summary and blueprint for better research
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Summary and blueprint for better research book
This chapter draws together answers to the puzzle of how little we know of the world around us despite funnelling untold trillions of dollars into centuries of research. The purpose of research is to accumulate knowledge and develop a paradigm, which is a framework that can guide researchers, teach students and support social and commercial strategies. Looking objectively at most disciplines, their paradigm is a fraud. Too many are merely tautological depictions of obvious relationships, which have no causal explanation and collapse when confronted by the real world. In reality we understand no more than ten percent of any phenomenon, which gives only slight ability to explain – much less predict – what is going on in our economy and society. We live in an age of technology and information, but research strategies are relics of the Renaissance: most paradigms and theories should be dismissed as little more than plausible scenarios.
A better approach to research is required, and this chapter concludes the book by summarising my agenda for reform. Because accepted paradigms reflect the human capital of academics and practitioners, there is a strong status quo bias in the research sector: the solution is for governments to encourage research funders and universities to leverage the control they have over research resources and journal revenue as carrots to reshape research strategy and editorial practices. The objectives are to increase heterodoxy in research, improve its effectiveness with better institutional structure and incentives and ensure research has integrity and is relevant to stakeholders.