Why I Do Research

A Few Thoughts


As mentioned in an earlier post, the idea of doing research has appealed to me from a young age. Anybody doing their PhD, or working in an academic capacity, has an answer to “So, why do you do research?”. For me, some reasons include:

  • I like solving problems. At the heart of it, research is about expanding the frontiers of human knowledge. Which means you will be working on things which, by definition, very few people are thinking about. Solving such problems can be quite a bit of fun, though rather frustrating at times.

  • Doing research improves my so-called talent stack. When I started out on my PhD path, I had very little programming/software design skills. By working on projects which necessitated learning how to do those things, I was able to grow and get better at them. In turn, these skills can be leveraged in other areas of my life, such as making this website, or collaborating on other projects. So even if I end up doing other things over the course of the rest of my life, having these additional skills (particularly in a tech-centric world!) is helpful.

  • The work involved in actually doing research is stimulating and challenging for me. I don’t particularly like work which I find boring or repetitive. Research is neither. Of course, sometimes there are things which need to be done which I don’t particularly like to do; however, you’re never going to get rid of all such things in any kind of work.

I made a video answering this question. If you like these kinds of videos, click through to YouTube and leave a comment letting me know, or subscribe to my YouTube channel. Ideas for other kinds of videos you would find useful are welcome!