Aside from its goal to improve the quality of life, research has the following aims:
Research is aimed at verifying or proving the veracity of existing theories or knowledge. This verification may lead to the development of new ideas, strengthening a current knowledge, or debunking a theory.
The development of the current model of the solar system illustrates this research aim. In the early seventeenth century, Galileo Galilei used his own telescope to make astronomical observations. He found significant evidence that verified the heliocentric theory of the universe proposed by Nicolaus Copernicus.
Aside from strengthening the veracity of a theory, research also brings forth new ideas regarding a theory or even create a totally new theory. To illustrate, the ancient Greeks including Aristotle and Ptolemy, proposed the geocentric theory, which assumed that Earth was the center of the universe. However, this theory was later replaced by Copernicus’ heliocentric theory, which was verified by Galileo’s empirical observations.
Once new ideas or innovations are proven true, they are then utilized and translated to something useful to humankind. It is only through utilizing the results of research that one can truly fulfill the ultimate purpose of research, that is, to alleviate people’s quality of life.
The case of the Orville and Wilbur Wright illustrates this research aim. After engaging themselves into lengthy research investigations, the Wright brothers discovered that the birds’ wing structure enables them to fly. They used this idea in creating a vehicle with wings of similar structure as that of the birds. This utilization of ideas that resulted from research paved the way for the invention of the first airplane. Over the course of time, the technology of making airplanes and flying aircraft became more complex to the point that it brought humans to outer space and even to the surface of the moon.
As researchers conduct more investigations, they do not only verify theories or discover new ideas and technologies, but also gain relevant experiences that enhance and deepen their knowledge and skills in the area of their investigations. In the process, they become experts of a particular field and gain the respect of their fellow researchers, a recognition that may bring them to the list of Who’s Who in the world of research.