Try research

Try research

Monday, September 21, 2020

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Dear Editor,

A certain political commentator had shared a concern about not seeing or hearing anything mentioned about “research” by either of the two major political parties in their pre-election manifestos and debates. Unfortunately, this crucial concern got lost in a cloud of other interests. However, if we do not give the facility, utility, and signature of relevance for survival which it deserves, then we shall surely 'die', and because of our current anaemic trends in research, we won't even know that we are.

Part of the problem is that we have grown complacent with the idea of new information. To us, we can get that with a tap or click, through advances in connectivity; all the information is “already there”. Another part of our problem is that we are overabundantly blessed with creativity; we are more inclined to assimilate our experiences through the arts. However, a major hindrance is that the powers that be, from the man of the house, or church, to those holding high political and financial offices, often see a more 'learned' follower as a threat to them, ranging from the capacity of minor irritation to existential.

We must now view researching as an investment, and not an expense, and actually as having the potential to attract foreign interest and investment. Surely, there is great value in what we, as a special people, know. Just make it a habit, a culture and industry out of unearthing it, packaging it and trading it. This, however, might mean forging greater ties with and modelling of our colonial motherland, England, which has such a research zest about her.

Secondly, we might have to consciously down-regulate our athletic and creative competitions and prolificacy for the sake of more knowledge-seeking and supplying.

We, fortunately, have a prime minister who is keen on anything or anyone who really can make his Government successful, and research is one such thing. But, ironically, it could be very good advice that he just cannot take; for it might mean him sacrificing his popularity and power for a better Jamaica. For, just like the rich man who couldn't sell all that he had and give it to the poor so as to enter God's kingdom, so too may be the prime minister's challenge.

Andre O Sheppy

Norwood, St James

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