Excessive emphasis on fashionable areas of research
Research priorities tend to become distorted by research fashions, politically fashionable topics or breakthroughs into new areas, causing considerable funds to be reallocated to such areas, far in excess of that required for adequate research. This leads to an imbalance of effort with considerable resources being allocated to a relatively small range of research areas, often of debatable significance, to the detriment of research on less fashionable areas of greater social significance. In response to such fashions, many research workers and institutes restructure their priorities and programmes to ally themselves with glamorous topics.
Several recent examples include laser technology, semiconductors, alternative energy sources, genetic engineering and robotics. Other kinds of fashionable studies concern simulation, gaming, modelling, and forecasting. Excess activity of this kind causes scepticism and obstacles to funding of serious, long-term research commitments.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
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