Monday, April 17, 2023

Risk Taking in Research

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

Feedback from research - results and what follows to make evidence-based sense of the findings - is one of delayed gratification. And then there is the wait after the research becomes a publication. Waits include peer review and publication schedules. You just have to wait, being careful not to force anything. Included in this chain of events is failure and then decisions have to be made on how to make a new start, this time with the advantage of what has been learned from the original research design.

When Ecologist Matthias Rillig began making videos of his lectures during the pandemic he had no idea that he would later use what he learned from this experience to develop a YouTube channel, Life in Academia

One of the videos is on how to encourage risk taking in research - risk ups the failure ante but it is important to researchers and research teams. And I think much of what he speaks about is accessible to non-researchers.

Fear of Failure is 8 m 20 s in length. It includes a guide to its content which I have copied below to help you make a decision on what and how you want to watch. I liked that he decided to start with the classroom, what is taught and also that he has a section noting that "this is not going to be easy". 

Here is his webpage with a link to the Rillig Group. If it pops up in German there is a translation link, although I suspect you will find this without my help!

0:00 Fear of failure (and thus high risk research) 2:01 Start with the courses we teach 3:35 Change the way research teams deal with failure 5:16 How to integrate high-risk work 7:30 This is not going to be very easy....

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