Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

The Importance Of Continuing To Ask The Question “Why?” For Gaining Knowledge


Increasing our knowledge requires us to ask questions. Most of the time, we ask the basic questions “what” and “how” to increase our knowledge – but the question at the heart of all knowledge is “why”.

The following is a deceptively simple story that speaks to how we acquire knowledge by requiring us to continue asking the question “why?” If you’ve ever heard a small child keep asking the question…”but why? over and over, after every answer you give…you know the importance of this question for gaining further knowledge.

This story is taken from Toward a Healthy Future: Second Report on the Health of Canadians

Why is Jason in the hospital?
Because he has a bad infection in his leg .
But why does he have an infection?
Because he has a cut on his leg and it got infected .
But why does he have a cut on his leg?
Because he was playing in the junkyard next to his apartment building and there was some sharp,
jagged steel there that he fell on .
But why was he playing in a junkyard?
Because his neighborhood is kind of run down . A lot of kids play there and there is no one to
supervise them .
But why does he live in that neighborhood?
Because his parents can’t afford a nicer place to live .
But why can’t his parents afford a nicer place to live?
Because his dad is unemployed and his mom is sick .
But why is his dad unemployed?
Because he doesn’t have much education and he can’t find a job .
But why . . .?”


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