Simplifying Academic Knowledge to Make Cognition More Efficient: Opportunities, Benefits and Barriers

12 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2015 Last revised: 16 Apr 2018

Date Written: May 4, 2016

Abstract

Much academic knowledge is unnecessarily complicated and could be simplified, and made easier to learn, understand and use, without sacrificing its power and usefulness. There are many historical examples of such simplifications, ranging from the replacement of Roman numerals by the decimal system, to the beautifully simple theories of Newton and Darwin. This article explores the possibility of further simplifying the knowledge that academics create and disseminate, giving examples from various fields. The benefits, in terms of savings of time and enhancement of the power and accessibility of academic knowledge, are potentially enormous.

Keywords: Academic knowledge, Public understanding of science, Simplicity, Simplifying knowledge, User-friendly mathematics

Suggested Citation

Wood, Michael, Simplifying Academic Knowledge to Make Cognition More Efficient: Opportunities, Benefits and Barriers (May 4, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2687046 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2687046

Michael Wood (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth ( email )

United Kingdom

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