Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Research Needs a New Narrative

By Tanya Monro

Research is a tapestry of creativity that enriches the society in which we live.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Research is all about asking questions. What separates good research from great research is the quality and nature of the question.

What drives researchers? What shapes their questions? Does it matter?

In recent years the Australian research ecosystem has been in the grip of a debate about the impact of the research we do and what can be done to remedy the relatively poor engagement between our industries and our universities, according to OECD reports.

There is an underlying assumption that if we were able to drive the commercialisation of more of our research and better connect the worlds of business and academia we would be poised to benefit as a nation from innovation-driven economic growth and the creation of high-value jobs for our children.

This is cast as a battle between pure and applied research and between short-term problem-solving and long-term curiosity-driven knowledge creation – a battle that, with some notable exceptions, sees an unbridgeable gulf between most of our research academics and the communities and industries that might potentially benefit from their knowledge.

Australia’s best research is transformative, impactful and fundamentally curiosity-driven. It is founded on deep creativity and strong long-term partnerships with research end-users who shape the directions in which it travels and the questions that...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.