Balance as Bias

The reading Balance as bias: global warming and the US prestige press set by James Oliver in Research Methods 2, prompts one to consider how knowledge is formed (ontology, epistemology, methodology, methods), and consider potential pitfalls with how it’s disseminated.

The contribution we make to knowledge is paramount to a career in research, and the value of this contribution is typically determined by that which is written. What, by who, where and the final form that matters. It is knowledge cemented by words which are valued most in the research space — this is how we measure contribution — a single action — the act of putting something into words.

What if we encouraged a balanced approach to how knowledge is created and disseminated? What if we valued a multiplicity of expressions and gave preference to subordinate ways of knowing and understanding? What happens with the knowledge that is shown, performed and experienced, and how can new ways be recorded, disseminated and ultimately considered permanent contributions to knowledge.

Attending to the pitfalls raised by the article, we may need to privilege other ways of knowing. Subordinate ways of knowing may need to rise with conviction and confidence — demand attention — and in cases overshadow the status quo.

Through process how can we develop a better understanding of design and forge new pathways? How can we let the path unfold? By looking at, in and through design, a new understanding might be generated. The research aims to strengthen designerly ways of knowing through design. The design practice drives the research, and the research drives the design practice.

Therefore, submitting a written thesis would sit contrary to the research itself. Writing will be a star within the research but ultimately a star sitting within a constellation.


ENDNOTES

Boykoff, Maxwell T. and Jules M. Boykoff. “Balance as Bias: Global Warming and the Us Prestige Press.” Global Environmental Change 14, no. 2 (2004): 125-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2003.10.001.

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