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Monday, 21 November 2011

Why TWDK?

When we teach kids science, we teach them the knowledge scientists have built up over the centuries. We teach them what we know, and sometimes when we came to know it. We teach them what we used to think, and when we realised we were wrong. But we don't teach them that we don't have all the answers, that there are problems, holes and errors in our theories. There are still Things We Don't Know.



When we communicate science to the public, we tend to focus again on discoveries. News items focus on the latest and greatest breakthroughs we've made, while shows and documentaries talk about all the things we know, how we came to know them, and when we made the discovery. They still don't talk about the Things We Don't Know.

When a student becomes a scientist, starts a career or PhD in research, this all changes. Suddenly they are no longer taught the past, they have to find the future - but where can they look? Nowhere can a person browse through a list of unknowns, problems to be solved - a giant TODO: list for science. TWDK can help. TWDK will tell people what scientists don't know, what we're working on, what answers still elude us.

Back in June, Ariel Waldman commented on twitter:
"We should have speed dating for scientists to find interdisciplinary collaborators on projects". TWDK will help with that, too. 

TWDK will provide an easy-to-understand platform that anybody can read, and learn about the science of today. It will also provide a means for scientists and potential scientists to find interesting new research areas, collaboration partners, and more.

Welcome to the speed dating.