5 Great Ways to Keep Up with New Scientific Discoveries
Human knowledge is increasing more quickly now than it ever has in the past. That is a wonderful thing that is leading to new innovations and improvements for the world. That also makes it very difficult for people to keep up with new discoveries. Even scientists struggle to keep track of things that are happening outside of their own specialization. Fortunately, there are a few tools that can make it a little easier to stay on top of recent research.
1- University Newsletters
A large part of the world’s research happens at universities, and those institutions build their reputations on the work that they do. Many of them publish regular newsletters that include an overview of the research that their staff have done.
These newsletters are a great choice for people who do not have a background in the sciences. They are written primarily for alumni rather than for specialists, so they are easy to read and do not assume that the reader knows much about the topic. They aren’t as detailed as a full research publication, but they will normally include everything that the average person will need to know. People who want to learn more can use the newsletter as a starting point for looking up more details.
2- Agency Announcements
Government agencies also do plenty of research. Most of them release their work for public consumption, and those announcements are a great way to stay up to date on recent work. It is also common for government agencies to work closely with universities and private research institutes, so these announcements can provide information on almost every area of the field. As with university newsletters, those who want to get more details should use these announcements as a launching point and look for more detailed descriptions in other publications.
3- Social Media
Even social media can be a useful tool for people who are willing to be careful and supplement it with their own research. Reddit and many other platforms have divisions that focus on recent research, and those are the best place to go to get information about the most recent discoveries. These sites can aggregate content from a variety of other locations, which makes them a convenient option.
On the other hand, they tend not to have reliable fact-checking for their posts. That means that the reader needs to do some work to verify the content and make sure that it is accurate. That makes this a great choice for people with a moderate academic background and a willingness to do some research, but a mediocre one for people who do not have the time to verify their sources.
4- Primary Sources
Nothing can compete with primary sources when it comes to accuracy. Academic journals are on the cutting edge of their fields, since they are where most researchers choose to publish their results. The peer review process ensures that the findings are as accurate as possible. The vast majority of researchers use these journals to stay up to date on the latest developments in their fields, which demonstrates their value.
Most readers will want to focus on the meta-analysis papers, which look at the results of many small experiments to determine larger trends. They tend to be a little bit easier to understand than other papers, and they make the significance of their results relatively clear. Other papers still have value, but readers will need a stronger background in the field to understand their significance in most of cases.
5- Dedicated Blogs
Specialized blogs strike a balance between the other methods. They are easier to understand than the papers in academic journals, but usually offer more depths than the overviews that are available in the news. It is best to look for blogs that are run by the researchers themselves. That ensures that the content is accurate, and it provides a great way to a simple and detailed explanation of their work. Other blogs can also be useful, but it is important to investigate the contents to make sure that they are a reliable source. Skepticism is the essence of science, so always remember to verify things on your own!