Scholarly Conversation?

Communication between scholars and non-scholars is relatively non-existant in the educational landscape today. It seems that scholars tend to share their work mainly with other scholars within a similar field. Though there is nothing wrong with this, it seems quite limiting. If said scholars were able to open up and share their findings with the world, more opinions would be shared and more knowledge would be gained overall. Scholars could consider using social media in order to spread their work to as many outlets as possible. A simple tweet or facebook post could provide one with many responses, retweets, shares, etc.

Another way scholars could get new and interesting feedback would be to get in communication with universities across the globe in order to establish a system where they would be able to post their research on a university website, which could then be accessed by teachers and students alike. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this already exists today, but I feel like if this process was made more public and became more streamlined, it would really open up communication between scholars, teachers, and students.

One example that I can think of when scholars used the public in order to benefit their research was during my biology class in my freshman year of college. My biology professor showed the class a website that contained a slideshow of various pictures of a plot of African savanna. Pictures of this plot of land were taken periodoically, with many containing different types of animals within the plot of land. Due to the vast amount of photographs on the website, the organizers of the site promoted others to use their site and help tag what type of animals were in the pictures in order to observe the frequency of animals in said area. This has allowed the scientists to gather information at a much faster rate than if they were to identify each photograph themselves. By sharing the load of work and including others in the conversation, the pace of discovering new information quickens, and those conducting research are able to get more insight into their work from others.

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