Tiina Jokela

Tiina Jokela: Why does knowledge matter?

21 Oct 2020

Knowledge helps, rumours harm. Knowledge lays a foundation that creates an understanding that in turn helps transform actions in our own operating environment.

This past year, our society has had to make some very difficult decisions because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected us all. The decisions have been firmly based on research evidence. Our society includes a number of institutions and organisations tasked with providing both policymakers and the general public with reliable information about the coronavirus pandemic and its possible scenarios. The common goal for all these actors is to avert disaster and protect human lives.

We all make countless decisions every day: what to buy, how to spend our time, how to take care of our health and the health and wellbeing of those we care about. To help us take all these decisions, we can make use of the experiential knowledge that surrounds us, that is, opinions, rumours or peer support from people on online forums who are self-proclaimed experts. Or, we can make use of research-based knowledge and scientifically verified sources of knowledge.

Evidence-based knowledge provides a unique knowledge base, one that is continuously accumulated and supplemented as new information is generated by the scientific community. Through its expertise and research practices, and peer review and results analysis, the scientific community can effectively reinforce the reliability of research data.

Seeking solutions based on scientific research is also an opportunity for us to navigate through the pandemic and its consequences with minimal losses. Could these exceptional times inspire us to rely on research-based knowledge and high-quality data sources also when faced with other time-consuming challenges? Just imagine what we could do about climate change, for example, if we only trusted research-based knowledge? Knowledge creates understanding, which can help transform actions in our operating environments.

2021 has been designated as the Year of Research-Based Knowledge. It will make high-quality information and its many sources more familiar and accessible to us all as a basis for the decisions we make in our own lives.

That’s why knowledge matters.

Read more

Year of Research-Based Knowledge 2021: tutkittutieto.fi

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