Asking Bigger, Deeper Questions
Are people inherently good, bad or blank slates? Why are some people so poor, and others so rich? What causes people to commit crimes? What makes for long, happy marriages?
Many of us have opinions on important and interesting questions about a host of topics, from human and animal behavior, to the environment, economy, politics and history.
But what do researchers who patiently pursue these questions think and find in answer to these questions? It’s easy to spout opinions; it’s much harder and more valuable for informed decision-making to carefully, systematically pursue answers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of well-trained researchers pursuing answers to many important and interesting questions, whether these be university scholars, think tank experts, museum or government specialists, or else.
Unfortunately, researchers’ answers are routinely published in ever growing numbers of books, academic journals and reports few people read, and they’re often written in dull, jargon-filled prose. Occasionally, the researchers’ answers are publicized in newspapers, magazines, on radio, TV, or online, but still the audience for these are often limited to those interested enough to seek them out.
That’s the status quo we take for granted, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Learning Life’s mission is to inform and empower more people by printing knowledge on the sufaces of everyday life, like placemats, posters, napkins and cup sleeves, then linking these surfaces to an ever growing world of learning at our website.
As our readers may already know, one way we pursue this mission is to pose questions online and off, linked to a growing array of five-question quizzes at Learning Life’s website which offer brief facts on everything from food psychology to the U.S. Constitution.
In September 2013, we inaugurated our Big Questions series offering clear, 1-2 paragraph answers each from two or more experts on questions of wide public importance, like those posed at the start of this post. You can read the questions to which we’ve gathered expert answers so far, and those upcoming on our Facts & Views page.
In so doing, we aim not only to advance our mission to inform wider publics, but to publicize the considered opinions and research of experts and scholars.
We invite our readers to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to propose questions, and experts on those questions with whom Learning Life might work.Paul Lachelier, Ph.D. Founder, Learning Life