The other day an academic colleague (not from my Institute, I hasten to add) said to me that they wished that they got paid to think. I answered, somewhat snakily that I wish they did too. Unfortunately they didn't really understand my jibe. Bless.
The conversation was about how lucky I was that I could do whatever I wanted (*wait... what now?). And it made me reflect on the notion that being paid to think is perceived as such an anathema to knowledge transfer and like an indulgence... my indulgence. I reject this mostly because it's difficult to understand how one would actually transfer knowledge, support change, or make meaningful research without having a good deep think first. Also, um, thinking is hard!
I'll always be grateful to the mob at James Cook Uni for really being able to tease this out... last year when I was Academic in Residence, I got to hear their post-grads, post-docs and career researchers thinking about what knowledge transfer really means, and the role of deep thinking, reading and discussion in understanding how knowledge works and how it can be transferred. This is one of the reasons I'm so pleased that Professor Yvonne Cadet-James and Dr Felecia Watkin Lui - who led so much of that discussion - were successful in receiving Australian Research Council funding to map out the importance of this process.
Thinking and doing are such interesting parts of the process of undertaking research. Talking to people about the work is part of that knowledge transfer and I've just realised (cos I'm finally getting my website together again) that it's a nice way to spread the info around.