How to Keep Up to Date on Advances in the Science Field
Science and technology have proven that they can revolutionize the world. It takes a matter of just a few years for new devices to become almost universal, and many of them have an impact before everyone has even heard of them. It can be hard to keep an eye on the changes because there are so many of them, but there are a few tricks that anyone can use to understand the big picture, and even to focus on the details of fields that interest them.
Professional researchers keep up to date on their fields by reading academic journals. They contain the papers that researchers publish to spread their findings. Those papers usually undergo peer review, which checks the work, so they are also the most accurate source of information.
Reading them is a skill that even scientists need to learn, but the average person can get a decent impression of the state of the field by reading the introductions and the summaries. That isn’t quite as good as reading the technical details, but it is sufficient for the average person who will not be using the information in a lab or a workshop.
Some news outlets specialize in scientific news, which usually includes major discoveries. Those services are great at translating complex technical documents into articles that the average person can understand. That does come at the cost of some oversimplification, so it can be wise to look at the primary sources for more information, but they are a great place to start.
Some outlets specialize in a specific scientific field, while others cover a wide range of topics. In general, specialized outlets will go into more detail and assume that the reader has more background knowledge than general ones. It is best to use general outlets to get a wide picture of the scientific community, and supplement that with specific outlets that focus on topics that are of interest to you.
Modern universities focus on research, and most of them take pride in the findings of their staff. The vast majority of them will publish a regular newsletter that summarizes their recent projects. That can be a great tool for finding out about research, especially for projects that have started but have not yet published their results.
It is most efficient to look at the publications from universities that have a strong focus on specific fields. Other newsletters can still be useful, but they will have a very wide range of topics, so it can be hard to get a clear picture of any single field from reading them. They can still be useful if you want to keep an eye on a specific school for other reasons, or if supplemented with other sources.