I also like the 'what modifications of behavior' but i beleive this could be a diss. all on its own, maybe i could as 1 if knowledge was presented to you differently to what degree would you change your behaviour/if any"
This can be a dissertation on itís own, especially once you look at the theories of education, (how people best learn), thoughts on hierarchies of needs etc.
Originally Posted by alex_boothby
It sounded as though some ogf my poits angered you, each point was only a point and not intended to be the only question in my disertation, mearly a beainstorm which i want to condense.
The points didn't anger me; I was more pointing out that you need to be careful how you put things. -especially if you're going to be relying on the responses of people to get your data, angered respondents = no responses = no data = no dissertation = fail.
many researchers fail to continue pursuing their work. I understand it is mainly due to restraints, but what is the point in spending 3 years on researching a subject if once finished it has little effect on the field you were aiming it at (with respect to many social science papers)
Why devote your whole life to something to then not look at it again, if youíre impassioned enough to devote your life to something then surely it should matter more than past the point that you press send and mail it off to a publisher.
But, these academics arenít putting their lives into it. Itís not that they arenít interested, but consider that most post graduates doing research likely wonít stay on at the university that they are studying at and become academics or researchers. Theyíll graduate and leave, and go be a private paid academic. Possibly in the subject that they studied in, possibly in something partially related, possibly in something not at all related.
Also, it might be that one person does the research, says something, but there comes a point when the research is done. The project is over, the contract is done, youíve run out of time/money etc...
As a question, you clearly feel that people in Academia donít follow their research through enough, so much so that you wish to research the cause and effect of this...
Will you be devoting your life to this? or will you follow your line of research right up to your project deadline? -e.g. will you hand it in and forget about it
Im saying, it is interesting to why many academics do not follow up there work in the public sector (as obv. only a few scientists will actually read the published paper and NO public) as the public sector is where the involvement of the work will actually make a difference. Its all well and good scientists understanding climate change (which i disagree with you, on the whole i do beleive it is of agreement that it is happening and having direct effect, wether its antrhopogenic or not) but if they do not influcenes the masses, who can make a difference, what is the point? apart from earning money obviously.
There are media outlets that read [academic] papers, for example lots of news on the BBC site around climate change is taken straight from the journal ďNatureĒ. Ėe.g itís the academics job to research something well enough to be published in an established journal.
Itís other academics work to look at that research and find faults, print counter-research etc.
Itís the medias job to report that to the masses. Ėin a way that the masses understand.
The fact that itís reported in a non-technical way (dumbed down for the masses) means that the popular press (tabloid) isnít going to set the academic world on fire.
The best example I can give is that E=MC2 is not the theory of relativity, all scientist know this. Nobody corrects anybody saying that it is. (itís the theory of energy mass equivalence that makes up a small part of Einsteinís special theory of relativity).
Academics donít have the job to influence the public; the point is to influence the policy makers.
Thatís how we end up with things like this.
BBC News - Oxfordshire town sees human waste used to heat homes
The public didnít decide to build that, the politicians did, because itís Ďgreen/renewable energyí.
The public are largely irrelevant in world changing decisions.
i would really like to get the involvement of the academics. (without insulting them! not only as that would be detrimental to my mark) But i am hessitant of getting the issue of politics to heavily involved as that brings into the frame the issue of dimensions of power (Steven Lukes book).
I canít see that youíre going to be able to get much time from lecturers/postgrads/researchers/academics, whilst they are going to appreciate your need to do a dissertation, they may not be keen to feature in it, (especially given the negative connotations that it seems that they arenít bothered to follow through on their research), plus they tend to be busy people.
I can understand you not wanting to involve the words politics. Because that opens a very large can of worms.
(one the other hand, that could also be an entire dissertation in itself, think of Professor Nutt the drugs advisor, his research and the fact that the government not only ignored his research, but when he tried to make his research more well known he was sacked from the advisory board).
I think that youíre missing the point a bit there,
You donít need every man woman and child in the country to agree with you to make difference, you need about 10 policy makers in the government. They go on to persuade/cajole/bully others to believing it, and then itís country wide policy.
Another thing, there are already books on the subject, youíre writing an undergraduate dissertation, not launching a multi-year well funded research project.
(I donít know you, so perhaps am not best placed to say this) I think that if you go down this route of investigation with such a broad subject (wanting to cover all your points) then there are two problems, either you tackle the whole thing, and itís too broad youíll end up writing a dissertation of vague thoughts on multiple subjects, it wonít be in depth enough, it wonít be researched enough. You wonít have any concise material for the presentation of your dissertation. In short youíll mark low on the project. And youíll run out of time on any presentation and get marked down on that. Or youíll barely scratch the surface in your presentation [of your dissertation] and score low on that because of that.
To be honest, I like your ideas.
but, when you expand and develop them to their logical conclusion (as you will be doing in the dissertation) they form multiple papers, multiple avenues of research. not just one.
Have you received guidelines for your dissertation, look at the rough page/word count that your lecturers will be expecting? can you really cover all the points that you want to within that?
The idea of a final year project however is that you take a good idea, and you produce an in depth project on it.
It seems that youíve got three ideas.
1) Knowledge contained in/by the public, (and how the public have used this knowledge to modify their behaviour (if at all).
2) Channels of distribution, e.g the press.
Whilst this is reasonably small on itís own, you can look at pro press (e.g scientific journal) and tabloid press (fish papers). Who policies the press, are press watch dogs effective, or are they too vague and un-knowledgeable themselves to act as a guardian for complex subject reporting.
3) Academics, and their life pursuit of knowledge, or rather lack there of.
What drives academics, why do they stop. Can they do more, should then do more etc. [to publicise their research] Ėdo they even have the tools to publicise their research.
4) how have people modified their behaviour in light of popular climate change theory. what importance do you gather people placing on sustainable energy or sustainable living.
My advice, pick one and do it well.
Point 1 can bleed a little into point 2,
Point 3 can bleed a little into point 2
Point 2 could bleed a little into both points 1 and 2. But try to stay on focus
I still think that the question of why academics don't follow their research isn't a good one. aside from anything else it'll be too easy for your tutors to poke holes in it.
if you draw the conclusion that they don't get paid to care, they'll poke holes in it.
if you draw the conclusion that they just run out of research space, they'll poke holes in it.
if you draw the conclusion that academics have no route themselves to the public to push their ideas, they'll poke holes in it.
if you come to the conclusion that it's a broad spectrum of possible reasons, with no one reason standing out more than any other. they'll just think that you couldn't be bothered to research properly.