By Gabriele Bammer
What are interests and why are they important? How do they affect how problems are framed, understood and responded to? How do they affect how well those contributing to the research work together?
What are interests?
Interests will be familiar through attention paid to ‘conflicts of interest,’ ‘vested interests’ and ‘interest groups.’ Yet interests are challenging to pin down.
The common definition of interests as things that a person is curious about has some relevance for research. It needs to be rounded out by another aspect of interests, which is about having a stake in something and standing to gain or lose depending on what happens to that something.