On Ethics

26 November 2004 |

One of the most amazing things about doing research is finding, along the way, selfless people who really want to help and suggest practitioners, texts or ideas. A project is a good project when people get interested and have opinions as it shows the general need for a piece of research to be carried out. Just today, I have been given a very nice book, learned someone has bought another relevant book for me thinking about a difficult area of my topic, been asked to write a series of monthly articles on the subject, been suggested a supervisor and a collaborator. If this rhythm of involvement and collaboration continues I will expect to be through the whole process in no time!

However, I am still weary about stealing research. Knowledge at this level is a contentious thing as I found out when Channel 4 stole part of one of my student’s topic, only to broadcast it on national television. You gain a PhD by making an original contribution to knowledge in a field of enquiry and having bits of outcome disseminated by someone else instantly invalidates its originality.

I will be careful here, even though I want to log my thoughts as often as possible. I will try to always keep something to myself, particularly in terms of method, the area where my contribution to knowledge aims to be. I will write about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’, keeping the ‘how’ for the selfless and wonderful people without whom all this would be impossible. They deserve it.

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