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I have a few good ideas in the area of evolutionary economics which I would like to discuss with an established researcher. How do I go about doing this? I live in Bangalore, India, where there don't seem to be any researchers in this area.

Do I just put it together as best as I can and email it off to whichever professors in the United States that are accessible on the internet?

The big problem is I don't quite know "the lay of the land" in terms of previous research, how my ideas fit in, and exactly how valuable they are, although from my initial survey, I have a hunch that I'm on the right track.

  • Could you describe what does "evolutionary economics" means? Some people here can also find it interesting? – Coder Dec 25 '16 at 6:03
  • Sorry, I'm not familiar with that in particular, but it's generally a good idea to start by reading what's been done so far. That's so much easier to do now, with the internet. – aparente001 Dec 25 '16 at 6:09
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There is a chicken-and-egg problem here: you don't have the attention of the experts because you haven't demonstrated achievements in their field, which you can't do effectively without their vetting. To get those experts' attention you need to demonstrate that you have something new, without wasting their time.

Publishing something in the field is the best way to command their attention; the experts will be professionally required to digest your work. Usually only people with substantial academic credentials achieve this.

The alternative is seeking their attention in some way. This means being thankful and brief. Many academics are kind people who will answer a quick question. Don't rely on a hunch; be sure you are on the right track before asking for their attention. Be ready for no response or a no, and take your time; you may find after writing that the question you asked was not quite the right one. Connections can also be made indirectly; though you have no friends working in related fields, you may have a friend-of-a-friend who is doing so.

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Do you have a relevant PhD, or a PhD in general? These days, it is almost unheard of to be contributing to academic research without a PhD - with the exception of masters students that sometimes publish their work with the help of senior researchers or PhD students (and to a lesser degree, Bachelors students). In all of these cases, there is an established relationship between the less experienced researcher and more experienced researchers.

So, my advice is quite simple, if you do not have a PhD then go and apply to a relevant PhD program! That would help you gain the knowledge you feel you lack.

If you already have a PhD in a different area, then my advice is slightly different. Hopefully, your current area of research (if there is one) has some relation, in which case I would suggest trying to publish similar research in that area and then use that to get a research position with relevant experts in "evolutionary economics". That is, try and switch fields.

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