• Question: In your opinion, is discovering new things or solving current problems more important? Or do you think that they relate to each other?

    Asked by Neil to Kevin, Liz, Beccy on 21 Jun 2017.
    • Photo: Rebecca Corkill

      Rebecca Corkill answered on 21 Jun 2017:

      I personally feel that they relate.
      Like in my job, I am discovering new things to try and solves a current problem (whiteflies).

    • Photo: anon

      anon answered on 21 Jun 2017:

      Some scientific investigations are purely to push the boundaries without any application in mind. Sometimes this is called “basic research” or “fundamental research”.

      But the methods and results may well be used by others to make progress on applied problems.

      I like working on applied problems so developing new analytical methods as required to solve a current problem. I like learning new things and helping people and animals at the same time. I wouldn’t say this is ‘more important’. I think it is important to have both basic and applied research projects.

    • Photo: Liz Buckingham-Jeffery

      Liz Buckingham-Jeffery answered on 22 Jun 2017:

      I think both are important, and definitely do relate. Just discovering new things with no current problem in mind can often, afterwards, be used to solve a problem anyway or be used to solve a new problem that arises in the future.

      However, my work deals with solving current problems. And personally, I enjoy that kind of science more and I think I’m better at it.