Friday, 17 June 2011

Important Research is Medical - No?

As an academic and researcher in an area usually placed in the field of humanities and social sciences, I often have to answer sceptical questions about the point, importance and use of research in this general field. The contrast often held out is medicine – that's where, most people seem to think, really useful and important research is done. Research that delivers some real value for the tax-payer bucks poured into medical and science schools and research funding. In the media, such general points are usually followed by some examples of ridiculously useless humanities or social science research projects. Well, if only for that reason, it is nice to present this example (reported in Swedish media today) of where – apparently – the money paid by society and donors to advance the no doubt very important field of neurosurgery is going. Doesn't it feel comforting to know that the prospects of seriously injured comic book characters have now taken a major step forward?