Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business and the academic world. Others believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
(Cambridge IELTS Book 12 Test 5)
This is quite a tricky question, partly because the 2 views are NOT opposites:
- View 1 is that it’s good to freely share as much information as possible. (It is NOT arguing that ALL information should be freely shared.)
- View 2 is that some information shouldn’t be freely shared.
My Position: I agree with BOTH views: I think as much information as possible should be shared, but some information shouldn’t be shared.
View 1: it’s good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business and academia
– e.g. peer reviews of new research underpin academic progress
– same goes for scientific research – collaboration is often essential
View 2: some information is too important or valuable to be shared freely
– e.g. financial information
– military and intelligence secrets
– intellectual property – people need an incentive to create new technology
My Model Essay
We now live in an age where information is a valuable commodity and can drive progress. However, there is some debate over how much of that information should be shared freely.
There are several arguments in favour of the idea that as much knowledge as possible should be shared, and in fact in some domains it is essential. Academic progress is underpinned by the ability to peer-review new research and theories, and similarly, in scientific research, collaboration between different scientists is often essential in making new breakthroughs. The development of the Internet, for example, was only made possible by openly sharing its architecture so that everyone could use it. There are also arguments in favour of sharing certain types of business information, such as management methods and findings related to employee performance, as these might help to improve a country’s economic competitiveness.
However, there must be limits as to what can be shared. It would be absurd for companies to share their financial accounts openly as this would make it easy for their rivals to compete unfairly, and a lot of personal information should be similarly protected. And while sharing new findings can be useful, it is important to understand that sometimes these are often made at considerable expense in terms of time and money. There would be less incentive to develop intellectual property like new technologies and new drugs if they were instantly shared for everyone to duplicate.
Therefore there needs to be a balance between sharing and protecting information. Some types of information can, and must, be shared freely, but not when it would discourage the creation of that information.
Without looking at the model essay above, try to complete my essay by filling in the blank spaces.