Science is organization of knowledge and research is processs to get new knowledge. At the very basic level, knowledge is explanation of something. So science is simply an explanation.
A. Process Perspective (Knowledge Acquisition)
From process or knowledge perspective, science can be divided by two parts:
a. Empirical Science, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, Medicine
b. Non Empirical Science (Formal Science) e.g Math, Stat, Computer Science, Econometric, Law, Philosophy, Risk Management.
B. Purpose Perspective (Knowledge Usage)
Unlike process perspective, the purpose perspective is a bit grey. Here is some examples
a. Basic Science (pure, theoretical), focus on develop scientific knowledge and predictions.
b. Applied Science, focus on the development of technology and techniques, to make something. For example,
- Engineering is applied physics (applied natural science/basic science)
- Environment Engineering is applied chemistry
- Petroleum Engineering is applied geology
- Economy is applied math (applied math/formal science)
- Economy is applied statistics
C. Body of Knowledge
a. Structured, vector, digital, machinery, project management Body of Knowledge, exact science
b. Semistructured, graphic, analog, art, music, sport, managing project, pseudoscience
What is the best perspective?
Development economics is a study of improving something from bad to something good. The focus of development economics is economic growth, economic development (education, health, infra etc) and structural changes (agriculture, industry etc).
By using econometrics (mathematics, statistical, cs) to economic data, we can find correlation of two different things. For example correlation between economy growth vs unemployment rate, correlation between economy growth vs impact to environment (Environmental kuznets curve – EKC). In environment perspective for example, by using historical data people can argue that in the beginning of economic development, the environment quality is bad, and after period of time will be better again.
Is it useless ?
To some degree econometrics in economy, is similar like using technical analysis for stock trading (Even there are some people that did not ‘believe’ in stock trading at all). Or it also similar with quantitative risk management in company business. To some level it is absurd.
2015p: 5.8% (RAPBN) ref MOF
We live in biased world, from media bias (AP vs Reuters vs AFP) to scientific bias (selection of background reading, sample, analysis). We don’t know if something is good or bad, even we don’t know that we are right or wrong. But once, I remember in the past, during my childhood around 7 years old, I saw an old women, in their house calling a kids name, to visit her house. My reaction at that time is afraid of course, but deep inside I know that maybe she is just lonely. If I could go back in the past, I even still don’t know should I met her or just running away to my house, but I think at that time, we just let her calling kids name without doing anything. Doing nothing is the best thing that we can do.
At the end, from a country point of view, the most important indicator is economic growth. For example to achieve 6.2% growth there are several perspective (highlight, its perspective, not strategy)
a. Structure of Output
Agriculture 14%, Industry 44%, Sevices 42%
b. Growth of Output
Agriculture 3%, Industry 4.9%, Services 8.4%
a. Structure of Demand
Household Consumption 55%, Government Spending 9%, Domestic Investment 31% (Export 24%, Import 22%)
b. Growth of Demand
Household 4.7%, Government 5.5%, Investment 8.8% (Export 15%, Import 17%)
Public Expenditure and Economy Growth (Education, Health, Infrastructure, Energy, Housing)
e.g 1% public expenditure will increase GDP by zillion times.
How to argue with this number?
Well, there is quadrillion argument that can be made by using this number based on the centillion interest, let see for the example:
1. Our agriculture sector is low, we need to subsidize this
2. Our education expenditure is low, we need to subsidize this
3. Our export is low, we need to subsidize this sector
Formula: Energy Growth / Economic Growth
Definition 1 Environment: Percentage change in energy consumption to achieve one percent change in GDP
Example: India, 8% Econ growth, 4% Energy growth: Energy Elasticity: 0.5
Interpretation: This is as expected, we are sustainable, our economy grow but our energy usage is low
Definition 2 Economy: Percentage change in GDP to achieve certain change in energy consumption growth
Example: China, 10% Econ growth, 15% Energy growth: Energy Elasticity: 1.5
Interpretation: This is as expected, we are growing our economy
Definition 3 Politics:
Example: Indonesia, 6% Econ growth, 4% Energy growth: Energy elasticity: 1.5
When someone knows that economy getting bad (e.g 4%)
Interpretation A: This is good, our elasticity is 1 now, our energy is efficient. Moreover, this energy growth will affecting the future economy growth.
Interpretation B: This is good, our energy development is still growing.
Interpretation C: This is bad, is not efficient, we expecting to get <1 elasticity
Well, the same argument might be use from Infrastructure point of view. That infrastructure development will help economic growth.
In my understanding scientists must be honest, objective and all things that attributed to science. However, reading the 2013 article on debate between economic vs environment. I have a sight that scientist is thinking based on certain perspective. And its an everlasting issues from MP3EI, REDD to 35,000 MW electricity program.
Research is investigation, same as audit as examination, same as police doing questioning, or judge doing interrogation or consultant asking something. The purpose is to know something, to gain a knowledge. Research can be done from book, interview or observation.
Research is a project in a sense of temporary, limited by time. For example, a chef that want to make new cake recipe, need to do research by reading a book, attend conference, visit another restaurant or give questionnaire. However, a chef that making cake, everyday is not doing a research, he is doing operational work.
A research has several purpose
a. To understand the subject
In nature we need to understand most important things such as fire, wood, air and water. To make a fire we need a wood, start with small twig and continue to bigger one.
b. To understand the relationship
Air makes fire bigger, water is bad for fire
c. To understand the impact
Air makes fire bigger by 20%, wet wood will slow the fire by 30%
d. To understand that something works (To make something e.g applied: engineering and medicine)
The last, research is to make something, which is grey area between science and applied science.