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Changes In Priorities For Science And Research In Future Due To Complete Standstill In A Few Weeks Due To COVID-19

The 21st century has certainly been groundbreaking as we witnessed computers going smaller with increasing computational power to energy efficiency of the magnitude enough for climate healing. Planets once only witness-able through a telescope now have rovers deployed giving much deeper insights about space. As industries became more mechanized, production has quadrupled in the past decade. Medicinal Sciences wasn’t left behind in the race as more sophisticated instruments showed up and advanced the field of diagnosis.

The recent outbreak of the novel Corona virus has caused everyone to doubt all such progress and made them think if we are truly moving to a prosperous future. Of course, such an argument stems from various incidents witnessed over the course of its spread, leaving us all worried about how advanced our capabilities are and whether we are able enough to even survive. However, recent researches brought a sense of relief as oral medicines such as Favipiravir are pushed to clinical trials along with various vaccine contenders.

Such a scenario brings many convoluted thoughts in our minds as to whether there should be a change in the field of research and more emphasis has to be laid on certain areas while sacrificing others. One must understand that research does not work simply by interest and is majorly driven by monetary interests. Since the methodology requires cutting edge technology, research is often very expensive and depends entirely on where the government lays focus on.

This in turn is driven by what comes first for a country at an immediate level. Countries facing major crisis in energy sector but comparatively less in medicine promote researchers to pursue advancement in energy storage and production related technology by providing grants and funds.

In most cases, research done by private organizations end up as patents which are driven for profit benefits and market monopoly. Such interests lead to withholding of technology which can be used for further development freely by other organizations. It is in fact astonishing to see how most of the research done in the fields not in interest of large corporations and the government are almost always run by crowd funding. A stunning example is gravitricity, which is said to be an eco-friendly mode of energy storage is under crowd funding to fully develop the technology and mass produce.

Scientific research also ends up at many a times clashing with Humanitarian aspects which prove rather troublesome to move forward. An example being the protest by the people at Hawaii Islands against the building of the thirty-meter telescope which although now settled takes away the sacred hills of the native which has always been of cultural importance. Animal testing, human trials, a lot of these activities are met with frown.

Self-driving cars, drones, robots can all help at a time when the need is to avoid human contact. Autonomous vehicles can be used to transport affected people to and from healthcare facilities with ease, without risking the lives of healthy people.

Robots can be used for delivering grocery, cooking means, sterilizing hospitals and patrolling the streets. The next pandemic is not a matter of if it happens, but when it happens, would we be prepared in advance against the pandemic at an individual and collective level. What we actually need is preparedness.

In conclusion to all the factors mentioned, any change in the current field of research is not as easy as thought. As the pandemic threatened, all countries shifted their funds towards the research of immediate importance. However, one area that requires amendment is the profit driven researches done by corporations as it is in the belief of research that it should be done to advance.    

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