Chemistry education goes online

With colleges and universities around the world shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, chemistry teachers are navigating the shift to online learning. There are several factors to consider in this effort, from technology ...

Africa faces grave risks as COVID-19 emerges, says economist

The first cases of COVID-19 emerged in China last November, and the virus has since moved inexorably to Europe and the United States. The virus didn't arrive in Africa—home to 1.2 billion people—until the end of February, ...

Expert discusses what COVID-19 means for immigration

The COVID-19 pandemic has begun to have profound effects on immigration to the United States. We asked Valeria Gomez, a teaching fellow with the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic at the UConn School of Law to explain what is ...

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Expert

An expert ( Audio (US) (help·info), also called cognoscente) is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual's opinion. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage (Sophos). The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.

Experts have a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field. In specific fields, the definition of expert is well established by consensus and therefore it is not necessary for an individual to have a professional or academic qualification for them to be accepted as an expert. In this respect, a shepherd with 50 years of experience tending flocks would be widely recognized as having complete expertise in the use and training of sheep dogs and the care of sheep. Another example from computer science is that an expert system may be taught by a human and thereafter considered an expert, often outperforming human beings at particular tasks. In law, an expert witness must be recognized by argument and authority.

Research in this area attempts to understand the relation between expert knowledge and exceptional performance in terms of cognitive structures and processes. The fundamental research endeavor is to describe what it is that experts know and how they use their knowledge to achieve performance that most people assume requires extreme or extraordinary ability. Studies have investigated the factors that enable experts to be fast and accurate.

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