The scientific goal of this website is to show how existing scientific knowledge is relevant for an everyday activity such as cycling. Science has always had the task of generating new knowledge. However, until recently, little attention has been paid to the dissemination of that knowledge within the broader society; knowledge was primarily shared with fellow scientists. Scientific publications are therefore rarely readable by non-scientists.
With the arrival of the Internet, a lot has changed in the way knowledge is disseminated within society:
- An enormous amount of information has become freely available: Wikipedia and numerous specialised wikis, open online courses (Udacity, EdX, Khan Academy, …), informative websites of organisations and individuals, Youtube videos, forums, blogs, etc.
- There is no control on the quality of the information. With the exception of some legal restrictions (regarding privacy and abuse), authors have the freedom to publish virtually all information on the internet.
The situation is very different in the world of scientific publications:
- Scientific publications are not freely accessible to the general public. Moreover, the large amount of specialist information (necessary to evaluate and replicate the research) ensures that these publications are rarely suitable for this general public.
- The system of scientific publications has a double quality control:
- Peer review as a formal condition for publication.
- The more informal scientific culture to correct publications if they contain logical errors or report empirical phenomena that can not be replicated.
Even though there is criticism of the efficiency of this quality control, the existence of such a system rightly ensures that information from scientific publications is trusted more than other information on the internet.
On this website the good features of both publication systems (the non-managed part of the internet and scientific publications) are combined:
- The information on this website is freely available and is written for a wide audience.
- The quality of the information is controlled by scientists.