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The Science Experiment

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

David Mills: Session 04

13th June 2022

Since David's talk shedding light on basic research skills we tend to neglect, I have been asking my peers to 'destroy' my question. Certain points David made about how others would interpret my question, how they would rephrase it for their own understanding, and what kind of questions they would have about my question got me thinking whether the idea inside my head is clearly translated in my question.

Further, whether my intervention is clear. As high school science experiments go, do I have a theory (a claim or question I want answers to) to make the hypothesis, an experiment (intervention) to test the hypothesis, and do my results prove or disapprove the hypothesis (feedback/analysis).

Actively talking to my stakeholders while being less defensive to get the information. The moment I would get defensive, I'd lose the possibility of my stakeholders giving me the reality of the area I'm researching. While I have claims made with my observations over the years, without really talking to my stakeholders, it would just one person's opinion.

Even with the change I'm making, I should be asking my stakeholders what they want changed. This is covered in my conversations with Gen Z about their need to be respected, to be treated like a person, and to be validated before being given advice. This was also reflected in Zuleika's session today (14.06.2022) on ethics where she talking about the Saviour Complex; the idea that our research project would 'save' the stakeholders, and the researcher being the 'saviour' or 'hero'.

With regard to experts, David advised to respect their time, be direct with my intention to contact, and have a good headline that is not too out there that it would end up in the spam folder or not too boring that they would ignore. Within the context of the email, introduce myself before introducing myself. Speak about how their work is relevant to my intent and the relationship to the subject area. However, summarise that the actual details can be discussed in the meeting.

Some questions they'd have are why their work is important and why them; this has to be communicated clearly. Ideally, wait 7- 10 days before following up if they haven't gotten back to you with 'I appreciate you are busy'.

One key thing that stood out for me, as I tend to go to the books for research even before I go to the internet, is that information updates so fast. Information in books are old by the time they are published. This project, the interventions, action research... will give me real world and real time (relatively) answers.

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