Field Journal, 2023 Scholars, Week 3

Like

Share this post

Choose a social network to share with, or copy the shortened URL to share elsewhere

This is a representation of how your post may appear on social media. The actual post will vary between social networks
  • What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?
  • As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Please answer these questions by creating a post of your own! In addition, please plan on responding to another student’s post that you find interesting. Scroll down to the bottom of the entry and hit “Leave a comment”. Leave your reply in the box provided.

Remember: you should post your own responses by Thursday. You should respond to another student’s response by Friday. I look forward to discussing your reflections with you!

Please sign in

If you are a registered user on Laidlaw Scholars Network, please sign in

Go to the profile of Kira Ratan
about 1 year ago

1. Because my historical research involves looking through personal documents and archives, such as birth certificates/death certificates, family photographs and scrapbooks, as well as personal letters, I have to be very conscious of the ways in which the individuals and families intended for these documents to be used, and taking that into consideration with how I apply them to my own research. Additionally, because I am focusing on historical research of identities and historical and ongoing racial oppression in the film industry, I am balancing individual expressions of identity versus the distortion of said identities through media. 

2. As I have been conducting my research using primary sources, mostly, it has been helpful to incorporate scholarly articles (though there aren't many on my topic), especially articles written by my faculty mentor and colleagues she had worked with in the past, in order to develop the greater context around the historical research on individuals and their experiences in Hollywood, and have a foundation of knowledge for which I can base my findings off of. 

Go to the profile of Grace Kaste
about 1 year ago

It's so interesting to think about using personal documents for research -- it reminds me of the ideas that Professor Klitzman had us think about with Henrietta Lacks. I feel like I always see research, whether it's on the social or medical side of things, as inherently good because it's in the public's interest, but then when you go behind the scenes you see the possible ramifications of appropriating materials for research without consent. I'd love to know more about what the process is like for obtaining/determining if you can use personal documents because it sounds like such an interesting ethical area. Your research sounds so fascinating and I can't wait to see what you find. 

Go to the profile of Grace Kaste
about 1 year ago

1. What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

The climate policy that I'm studying, "cap and trade," is a bit infamous because, when it was first implemented in California, it was designed poorly and incentivized pollution in lower-income communities. As New York state sets up its own cap and trade program, the state has pledged to differentiate the program from California's and avoid incentivizing these environmental disparities. Because of this tension, I'm doing my best to be critical of proposed cap and trade policies and any academic literature that seems to disregard or downplay its possible effects on lower-income communities, so that New York's program is held to a higher standard than California's was. 

2. As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Yes, I think that the alternative viewpoints I've encountered as I try to get a general sense of the academic literature in this field have been a huge help. They force me to challenge what I think I understand, and to read papers that seem to be the "consensus" in the field with a more critical eye. While I don't always agree with opposing viewpoints, some of them have actually inspired me to look into topics of disagreement that have then led me to my research question. It feels exciting to be studying a topic that is niche and recent enough that there are competing theories and unresolved academic arguments, because I then get to decide for myself where I might stand. 

Go to the profile of Joseph Karaganis
about 1 year ago

I resonate a lot with your second answer because it's definitely true that significant academic disagreement can make questions feel unapproachable or even unanswerable. There is something very challenging about that, but also empowering--which you mention. I think that looking into research that comes to different conclusions (or starts from different premises) can be a very rewarding experience, even if it destabilizes some of the methods of thinking that we were using to get to our answers. Learning how to synthesize competing viewpoints is a necessary part of navigating academic environments, and that is even more critical when it comes to research that has political and economic implications (like yours). 

Go to the profile of Joseph Karaganis
about 1 year ago

1. My research mostly consists of interviews, which are always attached to larger social and ethical questions about the relationship between the interviewer and interviewee. In the context of my own work, this has not been a huge issue--I am interviewing adult journalists who are entirely aware of how I intend to use their answers, and who themselves have a good deal of experience conducting interviews. Since my interviews don't involve personal information, navigating issues surrounding appropriate topic areas has also been easier. Still, I think it is important for me to consider how I take in the information I'm given--am I representing their answers, and their ideas, faithfully? I hope that I am, but that reckoning is a continuous process that will involve close and careful examination of the conversations I've had and the ideas I've taken away from them.

2. I've actually encountered quite a few--I've realized that as I conduct interviews I've been constantly exposed to new ways of thinking about and conceptualizing my research. My topic has become broader, more nuanced, and more complex with each conversation, since the people I've talked to have each brought their own perspective and ideas to the mix. I'm not entirely sure how to incorporate these ideas into my work all the time--it can be very daunting to shift focus this far into my research, and I'm not sure that I totally will. But my topic's edges have become increasingly blurred as new tensions and insights have infiltrated my project. I'm trying to embrace this change because I think it is part of a necessary process of intellectual growth and self-reflection. But that doesn't mean it isn't intimidating.

Go to the profile of Kayla Pham
about 1 year ago

Hi Joseph,

Thanks for your great response. I really admired your answer to the first question about ethical concerns to your research - specifically how you incorporated questions that you asked yourself to hold yourself accountable for the way that you represent your subjects. Similarly, I have been asking myself questions about the materials I used. Do I know where this material was sourced from? Was the material susutainably sourced? These questions also lead to an evaluation of whether or not I should be studying the materials that I do - some being rare metals that can't be sustainably sourced. It is through this evaluation that I must consider the harm that my work does and that could potentially jusitfy a switch in the materials I study. Nonetheless, it is such questions and concerns that must continue to be raised to ensure a sustainable and ethical future for the field of Materials Science.

Go to the profile of Daniela Palacios
about 1 year ago

Joseph I can certainly relate to your second point about finding an abundance of relevant information that one wishes to add to their original thesis. My research has also taken me into spaces and fields I did not expect and at times it can feel as though I am entering down a rabbit hole and it might not be the most productive. I think leaning on our faculty and graduate mentors can be especially important in times like these. 

Go to the profile of Cady Chen
about 1 year ago

1. My research heavily relies upon animal models. More specifically, it involves introducing brain tumors in mice and studying the resulting changes in protein expression and cell proliferation. It’s important for me to keep in mind that although these mice are critical to making scientific advances and discovering therapies that may be applied to human patients, they too are sentient creatures who can feel pain & suffer. Unlike human experiments, which may only proceed if participants consent to the experiment at hand, mice don’t have the option to consent to the studies being performed on them. As such, it is the researcher’s (my) responsibility to minimize suffering in our mice and treat them with as much care and respect as possible. For example, this could mean following proper anesthetic protocols when doing surgeries, ensuring they are fed and comfortable in their cages, and euthanizing mice who appear to be visibly suffering.

2. Yes! A lot of my research these two weeks have been focused on identifying potential confounding factors & further exploring them to figure out if they are true confounders or if they are unrelated to my results. It is a frustrating, yet necessary process, to consider all possible explanations in attempting to arrive as a scientifically-rigorous and biologically-founded result. In doing so, though, I feel as if I have expanded my own understanding of my research topic and begun to understand the true complexity of biological systems. Any number of external, intrinsic, and situational factors may play a hand at explaining some biological phenomena. Thus, it becomes very difficult (as well as reductive) to attribute a particular phenomena to just one variable.

Go to the profile of Kelly Aika Yoshimura
about 1 year ago

I didn't realize that there was so much that goes into the process of assuring the most ethical approach to animal experimentation/observation. I appreciate how you mentioned that some surprising confounding factors have been observed, as I've experienced the same thing within my own research. Similarly, I feel like I better understand human behavior and people's development of their self-perception because of these confounding factors. 

Go to the profile of Kayla Pham
about 1 year ago

Though I am working in a science lab that does not deal with any living subjects, there are still a plethora of ethical concerns in Materials Science - the main being ethical issues associated with sourcing certain materials. Many elements used in Material Sciences research (aluminum, copper, graphite, and much more) can be, and have been, sourced with child labor, low working standards, and unsafe conditions. Thus, it is incredibly important to understand where the materials I work with comes from. I am currently studying a material made in another lab at Columbia. It is additionally important to question the accessibility of the research I am conducting - whether it would be equitable or if it would disproportionately help one group of people. As I continue my investigation, I continue to look at my research through the intersection of Chemistry and Physics. Allowing my research to fit in multiple fields and not have rigid descriptors has been incredibly insightful to allow my research to take on multiple shapes and forms.

Go to the profile of Cady Chen
about 1 year ago

Thank you for bringing up these very important points! I think it's very easy for researchers in STEM fields not dealing with humans/biological specimens to conclude that there are limited ethical concerns to worry about, but your comment about the ethics of sourcing materials reminds us of just how present ethics are in every facet of our work. From where our raw materials are being obtained from (i.e. are my mice bred in humane conditions?) to unintended ramifications/applications of our research (i.e. can a bad actor create bioweapons with my findings?), there are so many ethical questions to consider as we go about our work. Many of these ethical concerns—i.e. where your materials are sourced from—have been overlooked for so long, and it is definitely up to us researchers who use these materials to call out these abuses when we recognize them and attempt to reform these blatant human rights violations.

Go to the profile of Kira Ratan
about 1 year ago

Kayla, thank you for shedding light on some of the ethical concerns you deal with on a daily basis in your lab-- I had no idea about the sourcing of different materials and am curious as to why that may not be talked about to the same degree as different ethical concerns in the field of science when it seems like an extremely important consideration. It is important to be conscious of not only the methods you are using but the resources being used as well and make sure that no one was harmed in that aspect of your work. I am glad to have learned something new in that regard! 

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
about 1 year ago

I really appreciate that you illuminated the aspects less readily seen or "invisible" parts of the material that you work with. Sometimes, the conversation around ethics in science revolves heavily around honestly representing data that the discussion on the people behind providing the materials gets lost when they are just as important in contributing to our research. 

Go to the profile of Kelly Aika Yoshimura
about 1 year ago
  • What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

Maintaining anonymity and asking for consent to record are the two main concerns I have. Since my research is based on real-time interviews, obtaining consent to record as well as reassuring participants that they will remain completely anonymous has been challenging. Writing about students' experiences while providing enough context and nuance while also assuring they no identifying information is included can be difficult. In response, I have slightly adjusted in order to include general themes that I've noticed and attempt to recognize these as a collective rather than providing explicit information about one individual. 

  • As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Some people aren't as concerned or haven't noticed issues that my research hopes to address which does bring a new perspective and add another reason/common theme to my research, which was unexpected, but welcome. 

Go to the profile of Daniela Palacios
about 1 year ago
  1. What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

Some of the ethical issues I am grappling with as I am researching in-prison education programs are disparities in educational access and enrollment rates among different ethnic and racial groups within the incarcerated emerging adult population. It is important to take into account the developmental transition to reaching adulthood to improve a prison education model. The notion of funding can also pose ethical dilemmas as there is a debate surrounding the efficiency of punishment-oriented approaches compared to in-prison postsecondary education programs when promoting public safety.  

  1. As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project

As I continue my investigation I have considered the blind spot of education regarding digital learning tools and practices. Especially during the pandemic I have found that many of these postsecondary education prison programs went completely remote and I would like to further explore how the role of technology impacts sense of self. It would be interesting looking at fields like neuroscience to better understand this concept, hence further embracing an interdisciplinary approach. 

Go to the profile of Sarah Bryden
about 1 year ago

1. Translating the song lyrics I'm studying has introduced some interesting ethical questions/concerns. Music is self-expression, and it can be difficult to retain the personal elements of a song in a typed-out transcription, and even more difficult to do so after the lyrics have been translated (especially when the choice to sing or rap in an Indigenous language is often so personally significant). Also, there is the issue of prejudices about Indigeneity, rap music, and Latin America. I'm grappling with the question of how to present my information in a relatively objective way, despite misconceptions people might have. I'm also trying to be mindful of preconceived notions that I might have which would affect my research or presentation. 

2. Reading secondary sources has exposed me to quite a few differing viewpoints, especially around questions more centered on present-day Indigenous identity. This has been interesting to me, and I think will be important to include in my final presentation/report to emphasize how Indigeneity is not a monolith. My faculty mentor has also recommended me many books which step outside of the context of Mexico or Peru, and I expect these will be a helpful way to broaden my perspective on my research question.

Go to the profile of Rolihlahla Nyirenda
about 1 year ago

1. My research heavily hinges on the experiences of vulnerable demographics which inherently makes it a delicate subject to navigate. I am maneuvering around this by ensuring that I maintain impartiality in my research and allow the stories of those most affected by multiple discrimination to be told in the most accurate ways possible.

2. My research is structured in a way that allows for discrimination to be assessed through different perspectives such as people going through the court system, lawyers, judges and legal experts. This allows me to get a holistic picture of the systemic structures that reinforce discrimination and allow it to continue to thrive.

Go to the profile of Rojeh Dayan
about 1 year ago

Roli, I certainly relate to your first point of maintaining impartiality in your research. This is something I am keeping in mind as well as I conduct research, ensuring I employ objective and balanced analysis since I am part of the community I am researching. Your second point is also interesting as you are able to see alternative viewpoints through the structure of your research. I am also considering alternative viewpoints to foster a more holistic understanding of the complexities and nuances surrounding my community.

Go to the profile of Ariel Yu
about 1 year ago

1. My research involves a lot of interviews and archives, in which people usually disclose a lot of sensitive information. A considerable number of people are also impacted by the carceral system in certain ways. It is thus crucial for me to protect their privacy and to use these pieces of information cautiously and within the limit of the research. To ensure that I'm fully conscious of these ethical concerns, I completed the IRB training on studies involving human subjects, talked with my supervisors a lot to understand the protocols, and tried to use my best judgment when it comes to something sensitive or ambiguous.

2. Since my research centers on possible alternatives to the current justice system and narrative change initiatives, I really enjoy listening to the interviews as well as discussing ideas with fellow interns and supervisors. People have brought up all sorts of strategies, paradigms, or experiences that fall into various places on the spectrum of abolition. These have inspired me to think more about the different ways we can encourage community safety and gradually decrease the presence of police and prisons. Someone also brought up this super cool NYT article about a neighborhood in Brooklyn policing itself for five days and receiving positive outcomes. Feel free to check it out!

Go to the profile of Manan Vij
about 1 year ago

I find your answer to the first question to be very interesting, especially in the context of the project I am doing, because the data that I am using my research is more distanced from the people that it was collected from. However, in conducting interviews and looking through archives, it seems that knowing what questions to ask based on the context and how to ethically get answers is incredibly important, since what is considered an appropriate or ethical question to ask someone may vary significantly between people and what they are comfortable sharing. I think your research is very interesting in this regard because what is considered ethical research may take on different forms, since your project involves uncovering personal stories. 

Go to the profile of Manan Vij
about 1 year ago

What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

Although my research does not involve direct interaction with people or animals, matters regarding how the data was collected in my research study is an important ethical issue to consider when conducting analysis and interpreting research results. From a data collection perspective, it is important that the patients that chose to participate in the research trial had informed consent and were aware of their involvement within the research. Furthermore, given that the subjects involved in the research are often people with varying degrees of illness, it is especially important to make sure that each individual is capable of making sound and reasonable judgment regarding their choice to participate in the study.

As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Yes, I have considered alternative viewpoints in my research investigation so far, which have allowed me to more comprehensively test my research question. As this project is interested in developing new analysis techniques, it is very important to be open minded to changing my analysis approach as new discoveries arise, that are steering the project in a direction that I was not originally considering. 

Go to the profile of Dongfang Linda Qu
about 1 year ago

It's fascinating for me that you have to consider the ethics of data collection because I don't engage directly with data collection myself; since there is so much data available in various historical records, my only metric for data selection is the ability to parallel European records temporally so that the Chinese and Europeans would be looking at roughly the same piece of sky at night. I still wonder where the ethics would potentially play a part in my research...  

Go to the profile of Rojeh Dayan
about 1 year ago

1. One ethical issue is ensuring that there is proper representation of the community I am researching and avoiding stereotyping. One way I am responding to this ethical issue is by reflecting on my own assumptions and acknowledging their potential impact on the research process. Another ethical issue is ensuring I employ objective and balanced analysis since I am part of this community. To respond to this, I consider multiple viewpoints by seeking diverse sources of information, allowing me to present a balanced analysis and avoid bias. 

2. Yes, I have considered alternative viewpoints, which enriches the research project by fostering a more holistic understanding of the complexities and nuances surrounding the Jewish Iranian-American community and their affiliations with other countries. It helps to challenge preconceived notions and uncover new insights I may not have considered. 

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
about 1 year ago

Your first comment really resonates with me, especially with the part about considering our positionalities in our research, especially when we are researching a community that we are a part of or are really familiar with. It can be tricky to maintain an objective and balanced viewpoint when researching a community we're a part of since we might assume or omit certain findings because we feel that it's intuitive knowledge when it may reveal something deeper in our research that we end up missing. I definitely agree with seeking diverse sources of information to constantly reflect on what may be missing or overlooked in our research, especially as it comes from our viewpoints.

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
about 1 year ago
  1. Especially because I am an outside observer coming into a community to conduct ethnographic fieldwork research, it’s important for me to practice reciprocity in my work. This means not just taking from a community for the benefit of my research but also giving back as well, whether in the form of helping the school with assessment grading or helping to mentor students with their projects. Additionally, because I am working with other people (students, teachers, and faculty), it’s critical for me to always have the community’s consent in observing them and maintain their privacy in my field notes and culminating project.
  1. I’ve looked at competing theories and gaps in my research on performance-based assessment tests (PBATs). It’s interesting to read about how PBATs became an alternative standard of testing compared to standardized testing and why certain groups are opposed to PBATs. Talking to teachers in the community about the benefits and flaws of PBATS also provides a more nuanced understanding of using this type of assessment as a measure of student knowledge. It's made me think about which types of assessments may be more or less effective in measuring knowledge and understanding depending on the subject as well (humanities versus STEM). 
Go to the profile of Sively de los Santos
about 1 year ago

Hi Karen, it's interesting that you are researching performance-based assessments because my high school graded student's skills and abilities based on PBATs. As students we were relieved when regents came around and we did not have to take them but, there was also the strain of completing and often times creating a project or assessment that took more time, energy, and effort than a three hour exam. Good luck with your research!

Go to the profile of Sively de los Santos
about 1 year ago

1. This week I've been asked to do research related to NYC's infamous stop-and-frisk policy. The policy brings shameful associations with police violence, wrongful incarceration, and racism. I've found myself feeling at a loss because while some of these events have happened in the past and there is nothing I can do to change it, I'm reminded that these misuses of power still occur. 

2. Previously, when doing research on stop-and-frisk, I, like many historians, investigate the relation between stop-and-frisk and race (how stop and frisk was used as a policy to isolate and traumatize black and hispanic communities). But, because the project that I am working on is focused on public health, I am now analyzing stop-and-frisk as a substance-related policy.

Go to the profile of Krishan
about 1 year ago

I think your second answer is really interesting how a government policy like stop-and-frisk can have several different alternative ways of studying it- be it more public health related or more from a historical viewpoint. Different disciplines can examine the impact of the policy on health and historical development, and come to a fuller understanding of its negative impact.

Go to the profile of Dongfang Linda Qu
about 1 year ago

1. I haven't been thinking about the ethics of my research yet because I have not engaged with data collection; rather, I've been mostly reading prominent secondary scholarship in my fields so as to understand major points of contention and interest. Perhaps that will become important when I choose among a sea of historical records a few astrological segments to analyze, but then I think my metric would be for the purpose of making comparison between both European and Chinese cultures, i.e., records with temporal proximity that shed light on the psyches of ancient/medieval Chinese/European mindsets about future divination and the political impacts the results would make. 

2. Since my project is comparative in nature, I've been thinking nonstop about ways in which I would position European and Chinese perspectives as alternative ways to interpret the stars as political signs. So far, it has only enriched my project because this interdisciplinary approach has enabled me to understand different facets of human nature; to paraphrase Professor Kou, my mentor, the act of reading signs is human nature, and everything becomes readable in our post-modernist time. In this way, I've been considering also a modern reading of the act of star reading in the ancient times as a semiological act that embodies the spirit of our time. 

Go to the profile of Erica Lee
about 1 year ago

Your point about the timeliness of research definitely resonates with me. Considering the temporality of perspectives also comes into play during literature review, and I have found myself questioning how the temporality of research articles influences their reputability and influence in their field. 

Go to the profile of Krishan
about 1 year ago

1. One ethical issue I have in my research is always a possible issue in Humanities research, but I find especially when studying modern artists, musicians, etc., it is difficult to not overanalyze them and over-assume their intentions because we have so much information about the context they lived in. It is important as a scholar that I don't mix up what I think their work means to me with what they think about it, so I don't misrepresent them. Especially with still-living artists, you don't want to box them in and be aware of your own biases and background. 

2. It's been really interesting at least in the field of music to consider alternative critiques from beyond the Western world of the subjects and concepts that standard Western classical music theory takes for granted. Considering these other thoughts really allows me to realize the complexities of what I am studying, and how it might be more widely relevant. 

Go to the profile of Nina Kornfeld
about 1 year ago

I find the ethical issues you bring up about studying living artists and interpreting their work really interesting. I have not really given much thought about analyzing music, but I think your description makes it sound similar to analyzing books or other texts. I know it can be difficult not to over analyze books, but more importantly, and a topic that I do not think people spend enough time on, are the biases we all incorporate into our work, no matter the subject. 

Go to the profile of Aleena Garrison
about 1 year ago

Krishan, I totally agree with your first response about an ethical concern you've been having. I'm also doing research on modern and influential artists and it has also been hard to not overanalyze them. For instance, I've been researching Tina Turner this past week and I find that a lot of articles want to place her in a box of simply being a domestic abuse survivor who managed to make a comeback. Although this is true, Tina's life was so much more than that, and based on what she's said about her own past, she doesn't like talking about it and would rather move on and focus on her individual success as an independent artist. 

Go to the profile of Erica Lee
about 1 year ago

With my research, reviewing my mentor’s IRB standards has approached the question of ethics. For example, as researchers we are unable to conduct our own interviews, but we are able to write thick description about our fieldwork. Within our data collection, there are no records beyond our own notes, so there is a pressure to create the most accurate report of events as possible. Simultaneously, we acknowledge that due to our unique positionalities, it is near impossible to create completely unbiased research accounts. The responsibility with which we have to approach our note taking and later accounts of our fieldwork raises many questions of ethics. Moreover, within the school we study, we have also stepped in as classroom helpers, tutors, and test proctors, in order to give back to the community, and this decision is another example of owning our positions as outsiders and dedicating ourselves to the betterment of the community that we are imposing upon. 

As I continue research, I have exchanged notes with other members of the research team. When viewing the same classrooms and interactions, it is interesting to see what each person tracks as a notable event. Considering the overlaps in fieldwork notes is valuable to the interpretations we make, and being able to have conversations with one another about the disparities has revealed the subtle nuances of the community we are researching. The same differences in opinion have arose during qualitative coding, and noting these differences and how they affect our larger body of research has helped me understand the alliances and limitations of ethnography as a mode of research. 

Go to the profile of Nina Kornfeld
about 1 year ago

While my research does not involve any human or animal subjects, it does involve gathering lots of different flower samples, which I have been taking from Riverside park. The first ethical question that comes to my mind about my project is about the collection of flowers from a public space, one where I have no more of a right to pick flowers than anyone else. Of course, if everyone walking through riverside picked flowers, there would be none left for others to enjoy- which I think points to larger questions about the use of our natural resources. Picking flowers in Riverside park seems pretty trivial, but national parks across the globe have been struggling with the fact that everyone wants to collect a piece of nature. Tourism can destroy natural wonders, not just through the pollution it brings, but also because everyone wants to take a piece of what they see with them, eventually completely depleting the resources they have. In the future I am looking to collect flowers from the new york botanical gardens, but for now I will continue collecting samples from the park, which I think is justified as it will help understand (and protect if needed) these flowers better in the long run.

Go to the profile of Benjamin Oren Goldman
about 1 year ago

You raise a really interesting question, and I agree that on principle, we should not take, research should only give. However, your last sentence also resonates with me, that as even though you take in the short term, you give much more in the long term. On the other hand, the Botanical Garden seems like a great partner, considering their goals and the diversity of the species they keep.

Go to the profile of Benjamin Oren Goldman
about 1 year ago

. My research project seems pretty devoid of ethical implications, issues or otherwise. However, after further thought, I realized that the methods I use are deeply rooted in some of the fundamental ethical issues facing modern society. Nearly all of my analysis is done on computer processors, whose production involves human rights abuses, environmental degradation, and exploitative politics. Sustainably sourced computer processors are virtually nonexistent, so my project, in part, rests upon such abuses. I am not sure how to respond to this issue.

2. One significantly helpful perspective shift I employ in my project is that of taking the perspective of a particle of fluid. For example, when imagining myself as a molecule of fluid in my experiment, I can better visualize the forces that act on it in a way that simply seeing the equations of motion would not. This perspective has helped me to qualitatively understand important laws and concepts for which I lack some expected background knowledge.

Go to the profile of Sarah Bryden
about 1 year ago

Your second comment is very interesting to me, because I'm using a similar kind of thinking in my project as well. I'm of course not imagining myself as a molecule, but it is important for me to think about how different audiences might react to the music I'm looking at.

Go to the profile of Aleena Garrison
about 1 year ago

My research involves a lot of looking at a lot of news articles and magazines, social media, as well as film. It becomes harder, especially with magazines, to figure out how to distinguish the real truth from clickbait essentially. The different kinds of media I’m looking at tend to want the most interactions with their content and will blow small instances out of proportion, not give context to certain quotes, and use other clever methods to get the most clicks. Ethical concerns arise because I’m never sure when I’m reading something factual or fictional. For example, last week I was assigned to research Tina Turner tributes, and during my research, a lot of articles mentioned a feud between Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. Upon doing my own research, I think the feud was made bigger than it actually was because of a few mean-spirited comments from both women directed toward each other. The two had never even met in person! To respond to these ethical concerns, I do as much research as possible after reading an article to verify their claims. I wouldn’t want to spread more gossip and give my faculty member false information, so it’s very important for me to sort through what is actually true and what is misinformation. However, it can sometimes become overwhelming, simply because sometimes I have to verify a source with another “sketchy” source, and finding a credible source often involves a lot of searching down rabbit holes and takes a lot of time.

I definitely have considered alternative viewpoints. I was fortunate enough to be able to read portions of my faculty member’s forthcoming book, and after reading it I had a better understanding of what I should research and how I could make my research most useful for my faculty member. My research is about divas and their impact on girlhood, queer people, and society as a whole. Before researching what I have done so far, I thought that I would be looking at the broader impact of these divas.  Instead, I have been looking at the lives of specific divas and their impact on specific aspects of life, which I enjoy much more than the broader idea I had going into this. I get to learn more about influential women I otherwise wouldn’t have been curious enough to deep dive into their lives in the ways that I have. My research has overall been a real joy so far.




Go to the profile of Lucia Victoria Enriquez
12 months ago

Aleena, 

I love your response regarding media bias and clickbait, as it can often skew people's understanding of a subject and paint pictures of scenarios in the public eye that are not as objective as could be with, say research. Thus, it is really inspiring to me that you have been taking pieces formed in the past as news articles and repurposing them to create a research project that is moving and depicts the information you have compiled in the most unbiased way possible. It is also informative to learn how you are doing this in a research project on media, especially from someone whose research is quantitative and doesn't get to explore such cool nuances. I am so excited to see the fruits of your labor!

Go to the profile of Lucia Victoria Enriquez
about 1 year ago

My research, as a data collection and analysis project, is very analytical and straightforward. However, it does tackle the question of who has the privilege of collecting scientific data in the first place, and what kinds of barriers can be put in place for those who do not have training or access to resources to be in this field of work. I hope to research this more as well as I continue my project.

I have learned to take the viewpoint of a true data analyst, but also an astrophysicist with many of the concepts that Professor Paerels has explained to me about the concept of my research. It is incredibly different than any project that I have been a part of thus far, and definitely given me more scientific knowledge of our solar system than I had before, which is fascinating. I have begun to appreciate what it means to delve into new topics of study and have the perspective of a field researcher, which has been very helpful in furthering my research.