Feminist pub VI

(1000 Posts)

Me again, is it? <mutters> do all the work round here, where's the support, eh?

<clatters chairs noisily>

just kidding grin


Copper, you asked "buffy I've heard proposal to decide funding by lottery. What do you think of that? Right now it's a bit like lottery anyway. If it is really lottery then at least you don't have to feel inferior."

I don't think it's a lottery now, I think it's like an old boys club, except they're not all boys. It's a political process, put the right buzzwords in, have the right Co-Is align with the right RCUK / Horizon 2020 priority etc.

But I wouldn't necessarily support a lottery system. UNless, I suppose, all bids were double blind peer reviewed and only those rated 'excellent' were entered. That could work, maybe…

Dunno. What do you think?

SinisterSal Wed 19-Mar-14 21:34:53

<sups pint>

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Mar-14 21:37:06

Oh no, double pub creation!!!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Mar-14 21:38:38

You beat me by two minutes so I shall withdraw mine grin

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Mar-14 21:40:38

My post:

I just stopped short of recommending The Sainted Cordelia to someone at a work event tonight - and only because I was interrupted!

bonesarecoralmade Wed 19-Mar-14 21:44:42

just nicking a nice bench by the window, don't mind me

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 19-Mar-14 21:45:31

I love Cordelia Fine. Possibly a little too much.

<marks place>

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 19-Mar-14 22:01:07

brew for me tonight.

<fluffs cushions in the brand new pub>

<settles down>

Do we recreate the pub each time, or is it the same one continued?

Because the old one felt all shiny wood and damask style cushions. This one feels lighter, somehow. Blonde wood and stripes.

Or is that just me shock

AntiJamDidi Wed 19-Mar-14 22:07:16

Just marking my place. I love a comfy sofa with a diet coke.

You lot had a really interesting discussion yesterday and I missed it because I was busy doing real life things sad I love a good discussion about maths and science but I was too late to contribute because I don't have time to post on here while I'm at work.

Uh, well, I have had a thought about research ethics, if anyone is interested in that?


Not really a surprise grin

We can continue the discussion, if you like. We didn't really establish whether being able to square root a negative number had any sort of useful purpose, and if so, what that purpose might be.

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 19-Mar-14 22:16:44

I am interested Buffy. smile

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 19-Mar-14 22:17:32

As long as the pub still has hot and cold running 24 hour childcare, I don't care what it looks like grin

AntiJamDidi Wed 19-Mar-14 22:17:54

I square rooted loads of negative numbers in my degree but I can't remember any practical applications of that knowledge. It was all really interesting but incredibly theoretical, which is probably what you'd expect from a maths degree. I always assume that the only people who actually use this sort of thing are doing something very academic but theoretical. Practical people tend to have more real world problems to solve.

AntiJamDidi Wed 19-Mar-14 22:18:52

And yes i'm interested in research ethics.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Mar-14 22:24:14

Don't we need i for radar so that we can fail to track down missing planes?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Mar-14 22:24:46

Also up for research ethics.

AntiJamDidi Wed 19-Mar-14 22:29:03

Quite possibly, I've never looked into how radar works. I wish I knew more about how other people use the maths I've learnt, but I barely have time to do everything I need to do for work/family without adding extra learning stuff into the mix.

stingaling Wed 19-Mar-14 23:46:10

A pub where people talk about square rooting negative numbers, my kind of place :-) just a shame having kids made me forget all the maths I used to know so I can't remember any examples of why its useful :-(

vesuvia Thu 20-Mar-14 01:52:19

Practical applications of square roots of negative numbers include the creation of jpg digital images and mp3 sound files. They are also give engineers a better understanding of how electrical currents work.

So how does one square root a negative number?

Disclaimer: it's likely that while I will understand conceptually, numbers themselves universally baffle me, so please bear this in mind in your explanations grin

Research ethics issue (for those masochists that expressed interest):

OK, just typed an essay that I didn't need to. All I need to do is remind you of Benefits Street and how the people in the programme felt violated because they felt the producers misled them about what would happen to their stories.

I am about to embark on a very sensitive topic and I want to make sure that I am genuinely ethical about it. The ethical baseline is you get 'informed consent' blah de blah (I can explain more, but I assume you get the drift, ask questions if you want) and then the data you collect essentially belongs to you, within the terms of what people have consented to, of course. But these are people's 'stories' and I know from previous work that someone's story, particularly if it's a painful one, feels like something tangible that belongs to them.

So my ethics question is how can I raise the bar from informed consent to making it possible for people to keep ownership of their stories, without making it incredibly difficult to actually produce any research output…


OK, thanks for listening, it's been helpful actually turning that into language and thus constructing it as a real 'thing' grin

Woodhead Thu 20-Mar-14 10:06:18

On informed consent, the participant surely doesn't lose any ownership of their own story, just because it also forms part of a research data set do they? What I mean is, (say) you publish and sign copyright of a study to a specific journal, that doesn't mean that an individual participant cannot retell that same story to another researcher, or a media reporter etc?

So in improving informed consent, what (specifically) is the participant losing a right to by being involved in the study. (Clearly they agree to some sort of disclosure of data etc).

On complex numbers, conceptually extend your number "line" to 2D space where the roots of negative numbers are represented on a line perpendicular to the real number line. (If you have x-y axes, then real numbers are represented on the x-axis and imaginary numbers on the y-axis). In functional terms-you sq-root a negative number, by sq-rooting the +ve part and multiplying the answer by i, which stands for the root of -1.

Quaternians (thanks for intel LC and Errol) have applications, I was forgetting about 3D rotation apps.
Anyone know a real world application of a Reimmann surface?

bonesarecoralmade Thu 20-Mar-14 10:12:35

Hi all

Thank you for all the cool stuff about numbers. I don't suppose it is remotely possible to explain how they do those things, vesuvia? To an idiot like me?

That is a very interesting question, Buffy.
Will the subjects be anonymous?

I have to confess that my default tends rather crudely to a sense of "harm" (it only matters if there is harm to a person) and I think this is not really enough. My dp was upset once to find that I had written not-complimentary things about him on here under a very opaque name change. I argued it didn't matter as neither of us were remotely identifiable. He said that was not the point.

I wonder if this is analogous to my feeling that dead bodies don't matter - I am tempted to say I would like to see organ donation becoming opt-out rather than opt-in for instance - on the basis that the dead person won't be harmed. But I know on an emotional level, if it were my child, I would need to feel that I had been asked and had consented. (I think it is different for a child though - as a capable adult performs their own consent but a child's consent comes from the parents - somehow in this case that feels like the child's body is still somehow mine whereas the adult owns his own body and the relevant adult is now dead - some people may feel differently about their spouses though? - but I don't see next of kin for an adult being equivalent in bodily terms to being parent of a child - their bodies were once part of mine)

But in the case of the HeLa thing, you can see how the lack of harm to the relevant woman does not remotely sum the case up, especially in the context of the racial politics.

I think the crux of what you are getting at Buffy is in what you mean by "ownership". Do you mean they can control, in perpetuity, how this information is used and must actively consent each time? Is it to do with IP and profit?

IP and profit! This is social science grin

So in improving informed consent, what (specifically) is the participant losing a right to by being involved in the study. (Clearly they agree to some sort of disclosure of data etc).

I think the crux of what you are getting at Buffy is in what you mean by "ownership"

They are not losing the right to tell their story to someone else, they are (potentially, if I am not careful) losing the right to have their story be their story. Instead, it becomes their story as seen by me.

I am sensitive to these issues and I think I am pretty good at telling people's stories in a way that is ethical, but I want to get better at it. I guess this is my own resistance against the hegemony of objectivism and the privilege of the researcher's voice over that of the participant.

The ideal would be to work with them at every stage of the writing process, but that is extraordinarily impractical, especially as many people I encounter in my work struggle with literacy and would be horrified at being expected to read a research output. Not to mention bored to tears, it takes years to be able to read academic writing without effort like you would do with well-written prose, I think, however skilfully composed.

I want to experiment with ways they can keep their stories, as in keep control over the way they are told. Thinking aloud here (well, typing as ideas occur!) maybe I need to separate explicitly their story from my own (and mine is the interpretation and theoretical integration).

But with the informed consent, I want to know that they really do consent to me using their stories and that probably means them reading stuff (or me challenging full on the conventional academic format and writing something very accessible, e.g. short stories that can be read out)

Will keep thinking, thanks for your thoughts.

Woodhead Thu 20-Mar-14 10:38:30

OK, so if you don't "do it well" they're at the same risk as someone who gives a newspaper interview and finds their story skewed and misrepresented (as a worst case scenario). The premise of some short text that could be approved is good. When I've been a participant, I've generally been sent a transcript to agree that it's a fair record, but I can see your concerns go several steps beyond that to allow some sort of sanction or veto over the final output.

Is this a changing culture issue rather than a regulation issue (so not about giving ethics committees more steps to monitor). I can't see a process solution that wouldn't have huge resource issues (so personal interview with every participant pre-publication to discuss if they're happy with the representation).

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