The importance of user based perspectives in science

I was catching up on my blogs after a busy and fun filled weekend in Boston sans laptop when after just a couple of articles, I ran across a post on Core77 about the discovery of a new super glass material by a Swedish research scientist.

I’m a nerd at heart so stuff like this is exciting in it’s own right but this quote below is really what caught my eye.

Congrats to Saeid not just for his research but also for adding some user perspective in the world of research. Saeid earlier said: “If I talk about atoms and bonds and nitrides, people fall asleep at their desks. But if I talk about this wind power plant and the problems we’re wrestling with, then everyone wants to join in!”

Core77 got it right in congratulating Saeid for using a user centered perspective to frame his discoveries. While the new superglass material is sure to get material scientists excited, for the average joe like you and me, it’s the application of these technologies that are truly interesting.

It also got me to wonder about how many scientists regularly pitch foundations for grants with a user centered perspective and how this would affect their success. This of course is a lesson for all of us, not just the scientists out there.


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