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The issue of whether science is useful or not can be difficult to answer. Scientists are frequently incentivised to pursue their interests however, this can result in research that focuses on a range of topics -some of which might not be directly useful to society. For example, an important aspect of science is the creation of theories and making predictions that can be testable. These discoveries are often used to create new technologies, like drugs, medical devices and renewable energy.

To be useful Science should also be able to address issues and problems that impact human wellbeing. This requires collaboration with stakeholders to define their needs, set specific goals and formulate an effective strategy to address those requirements. Today, many research initiatives lack this kind of collaboration and are focused on expanding knowledge without having a direct connection to society. The impact of research on society is not always measured and tracked effectively.

Translational ecology (TE) is one of the strategies that have been devised to create usable science. It focuses on the importance of scientists taking a proactive approach to considering and responding to the research context. TE emphasizes the importance of involving the end users in a meaningful manner throughout the research process and encourages learning-based decision making processes, such as adaptive management.

Selecting a topic that is both interesting and scholarly can be difficult for students, especially when considering the time limitations often enforced by professors. The list of basic research topics in science will help students select a topic to impress their professors and contribute valuable information to scientific community.