In this book I argue that science is not just about papers, or even understanding—science is about gathering understanding in order to improve as humans, as societies. We have been increasingly obsessed with the what, or the why of things, but not the so what. This book argues, using stories and examples rather than theory, about this forgotten space of science in a world increasingly dominated and driven by data and technology.
This book is aimed at anyone who seeks not only answers, but real impact from science. Anyone who is curious about the world, but also seeks to connect this curiosity with the complicated distance between understanding and the real word. We have covered stories of poverty reduction, fighting the ozone hole and curing scurvy.
This book is also directed to scientists who want to round up their skills to be more effective outside of academia or research. It argues for creating a bigger supply of impact scientists. Lastly (and perhaps more importantly), it also argues for creating a bigger demand for those impact scientists.
This book is therefore aimed also for business executives, managers, and hiring professionals in the private sector, as well as public officials, chiefs of staff, and politicians who struggle with hiring and managing scientists for fear they are stuck exclusively in research, or have a harder time aligning their scientific skills for the mandate of the company—or the messy reality of governance and making public policy.
In order to be as useful as possible this last section of the book is a distilled handbook of recommendations advice on creating or managing impact scientists.
This chapter builds in a good part on my own experience and motivations, but it also includes the external perspectives from each of my bosses and managers since I left academia. I traveled to sit down with each of my bosses years after we worked together: at my last academic postdoc, the CEOs of the NGOs and the startups I worked at, and my World Bank manager. I wanted to understand what they saw different in my profile or attitude. If this is a typical transition from academia to impact science, I´m trying to understand how I was different, and what was good and what was bad at each step. To accumulate more than my anecdotal evidence, I have also travelled the world for two years to more than twenty countries testing my hypothesis of impact science as a consultant, and to interview academics, employees, managers, investors, and politicians that are, or work with, academics that have left academia, or wanted to. It also draws from the feedback of talks, consulting and events I´ve done, including a session back at my PhD institution; and mentees I have helped throughout these years. Lastly, I have been very deliberate in seeking continuous feedback on this book from the earliest drafts. I have registered and integrated all of this feedback and continue to do so through its website ( impactscience.dev/ ). Feedback from readers is always welcome. In fact, this book is meant to be updated regularly, so make sure to check online for the latest version.
Thank you for the interest reading this far!
This book is available for purchase on Amazon. You could also go there and give it a nice review ;)
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