importance of research
With research has changed the way we live our daily lives for the better. Source: Jack Guez/AFP

The importance of research in our lives is not obvious at first — and that’s because we take many things for granted.

Look around you. It’s not just the creation of vaccines and the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA that require researchers.

Neither is it just grand things, like atomic bombs and rockets.

Behind every object, person and service you see is an uncountable amount of sweat and toil by an army of researchers and decades of trial and error.

They are the reason we can live, work and connect with our loved ones today.

Below are tangible examples of the importance of research lying in plain sight:

Eight examples of the importance of research in daily life:

importance of research

Mobile phones have gone from being big and stationary to small and compact. Source: Olivier Douliery/AFP


It is difficult to explain just how much the invention of smartphones has upended life as we knew it.

From sending messages to taking pictures and creating Oscar-worthy short films, it seems like the iPhone can do it all.

Today with everything just at our fingertips, it is hard to imagine that there was a time when phones were big bulky devices plugged into our walls. 

Then, in the early 1990s, an IBM engineer discovered that chip-and-wireless technology was getting small enough to use in handheld devices.

And now you’re holding the latest iteration of it in your hands as you read this.

Air conditioning 

Feeling hot? Switch on the air conditioning to cool down.

This seems so simple now. We have air conditioners everywhere now – in our homes, dorm rooms, public transport and even our educational institutions. 

But there was a time when this was not the case. Though air conditioning was invented in 1901, at the time, they were nothing like the ones we know today.

Throughout the years, researchers have found ways to make air conditioning more accessible to everyone. 


Paracetamol is a drug that is very common and easily accessible today. Designed for pain relief, this drug has come a long since it was first invented.

Today, you can pick it up anywhere, from pharmacies to supermarkets.

The discovery of paracetamol was actually an accident. It was discovered when a similar molecule was added to a patient’s prescription, and paracetamol was later found in their urine. 

importance of research

Netflix has changed the way we watch TVs and movies forever. Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP


There was a time we had to wait for a scheduled time to watch our favourite TV programmes and movies. And even that would be interrupted by advertisements.

Since the invention of Netflix, that is no longer an issue.

One of the founders, Reed Hastings, says that the idea for Netflix came to him when he received a US$40 fine for renting the movie “Apollo 13” from long-dead Blockbuster and returning it six weeks late.

Thanks to research and invention, we now have an endless stream of TV shows and films, accessible from any device at any time. 


Gone are the days of spending money on hard-copy books or running out of space to store all your books. 

The development of technology brought about e-books and products like Kindle. Now you can read anywhere at any time.

They not only make life easier but reduce the world’s carbon footprint. 

Wireless earphones

Look around you, and you’ll see many people with earphones on, listening to music. 

The first headphones were invented when Nathaniel Baldwin searched for a device to help him hear the sermons at his local Mormon temple — from his kitchen.

Over time those big bulky headphones have gone through changes from earphones to now the wireless earphone that we all know and love.


Another example of the importance of research in our daily lives is the invention of Spotify. 

Based on research, it was found that music can lessen the impact of depression and anxiety. It is the perfect way to escape reality, especially when dealing with university stress and assignments. 

With Spotify, you don’t need to wait for your favourite songs to come up on the radio, download MP3 files or move the antenna around to get clear sound. 


If you thought smartphones were a great invention, the smartwatch will blow you away.

Watches started off as devices to tell time, but today it is so much more than that.

Now watches can be used to answer phone calls and messages, record your footsteps, make payments and even calculate your heart rate. 

The first smartwatch was invented in 1994 and has since gone through many improvements to become what it is today.