Aristotle said that the human beings are social creature. They are naturally programmed to be socially active – some may be more, some less. Hence, people always look for new ways of connecting with others. That brings us to the age of social media. Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. become the part of our daily life. Today every business, every media house, every TV channel, movies, everyone use social media to connect with people and promote their content.
However, the research community is still outside the social media race. A new startup arises to fill that gap -its MachPrinciple.com. After hearing the name, the first thing that will come in your mind, is it’s all about some creepy theoretical physics idea. However, if you go through the website,you will find, that this is actually a serious endeavor to bring general public and academicians in a single platform, to help them to connect with each other, to share their knowledge, and to find latest discoveries in the field of their interest.
What is the Problem with Academic Journal and Conferences?
According to Dr. Santanu Das, CEO of MachPrinciple.com, “Common people like to hear about science if it is said in a simple way”. Any scientific research takes years of painstaking and sometimes frustrating research to develop a technique. So, it’s important to spread the knowledge that a researcher gather through the research. That’s why people write research papers and the academic journals spread the research across the scientific community.
However, as the researches are getting highly focused it’s really difficult or sometimes humanly impossible for scientists to read and understand a research paper that is not from their own discipline and hence the interdisciplinary communication is very poor throughout the scientific community. According to a statistics, in 2015, there were more than 150,000 research papers published per month, more than 50% papers were never read except by the author, editor and the referee, and more than 90% papers were never cited. With the invention of digital media, the situation is getting worse. More than 90% people in different academic conferences understand less than 10% of the talks.
All these facts suggest that the conventional way of academic journals and conferences may provide the detail description of a research, they are not at all a proper medium for spreading the scientific knowledge. There should be a new medium that will help to spread the scientific thought not only across the disciplines but also within the general public and will help others to understand the work. If someone is interested, then he/she can always go back to the journal paper and read it to know the nitty gritty.
Why do Researchers Focus on Promoting their Work?
Another thing that makes the progress of interdisciplinary research slow, is that scientists, despite being great explorers in terms of knowledge, are very conservative about their practices. They want papers in Journals with high impact factor. This is because that looks good in their CV and helps to build their career. However, its important for scientists to share their idea in a simple way and explain the concepts to general people.
If Larry Page just wrote a paper in some computer science journal, did we get Google? Did we know the symbolic calculations if Stephen Wolfram did not popularize the concept and made Mathematica? Could some paper in a mathematics journal give us the Bitcoin? It may be Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Edison or Tesla, everyone promoted their idea and that’s why we know them. Scientists should come out of their conservative cocoon and share their idea with common people. That’s how scientific knowledge will spread across the world and will help the progress of science and technology.
How is MachPrinciple.com Helping Science Outreach?
MachPrinciple.com appears to be hoping to restore some of the Internet back to its original purpose: connecting academics from around the world in an instant, and increase the interdisciplinary collaboration; bring the science and technology to common people and help to spread the progress of science and technology in a unique way. It allows not only the researchers but also the science enthusiasts to promote their works through the dedicated platform.
MachPrinciple.com is just like LinkedIn for academicians, it’s a real networking website. Signup is free and all the services at present come at no charge. User profiles can include education, experience, academic papers, awards, skills and so forth. There are two ways people can publish their work in MachPrinciple.com. Firstly, by writing a scrap in their scrapbook. The scraps will appear in their followers’ scrapbook. People can write anything whatever they want in the scrapbook. The second way to promote some work is to publish an article.
All the articles are verified by admin to check for spam content, before appearing on the research section of the website. Also, in the articles, you need to provide the link of the actual research paper so that anyone can verify it. The review process by admin is not a peer-reviewed process, but it helps to stop the spam posts or misinformation.
MachPrinciple.com is not like research gate or academia.edu where all the users are researchers. The goal of MachPrinciple.com is to connect the general public and academicians. Because of the site’s focus, it’s likely that many non-academics to be in the platform, however, most of the people in the platform are science enthusiasts.
MachPrinciple.com was started by Dr. Santanu Das, who is an astrophysicist in UW Madison and Fermilab. So far, this idea seems to be working. People are using Machprinciple.com as the one-stop for finding all the latest scientific discoveries.