Conducting research on a “Wish-to-Understand” basis

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When purporting to account for translational behavior and supply it with explanations concerning reasons and results, many scholars are still prone to take too many things for granted. Thus, we often purport to know “for a fact,” even adopt as a framework for our very study, claims which should have been put to the test themselves. In so doing we put superfluous obstacles in our own scholarly way and our colleagues’. A more rewarding approach and a better research strategy would be a measure of assumed naivety: we should engage in research, especially of the empirical brand, with as few assumptions as possible that might be difficult to maintain, in the face of real-world evidence. To be sure, there is no real point in conducting research into translation to begin with, whether observational or experimental, unless it stems from a genuine “wish to understand,” whereby all previously-“known” facts are reformulated as questions to be answered during research and on the basis of the available data.


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