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Research is Invaluable


Having chosen childhood obesity as the topic for my white paper, I have had no trouble finding information as there is a wide variety of research and literature on the subject.  In the library, I was pressed for time, but I uncovered several books in the sciences and medicine stacks within a matter of minutes.  The title that I found most interesting was “Generation Extra Large: Rescuing Our Children from the Epidemic of Obesity”.  Given last week’s discussion regarding Generation We, I found the labeling of our same generation as “Extra Large” was worthy of comment. 

Nevertheless, the book that I actually chose to look at more in depth for this particular blog post was entitled “Obesity in Youth: Causes, Consequences, and Cures”.  I decided that this book might be the most helpful as it was the most recently published (2009) of the books I discovered in my less-than comprehensive search.  I assumed that this book may have more reliable data and statistics and therefore it would be more helpful than the others in contributing to my white paper. Continue reading

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Blog Awards-Cited Reference Searches


The blog council met late Friday afternoon to discuss the blog awards for this week’s prompt on cited reference searches.  Although the blogs this week were not the most exciting to write, some did spark debate such as Alyssa’s stem cell post and Ben’s NBA post.

With prompt in mind, the blog council came up with six awards.

1. Best Use of Sources

2. Best Use of Class Topics

3. Best Use of Media

4. Most tenacious

5. The Luckiest SOB (Most Cited References)

6. Best Post

The winners of Best Use of Sources are Amanda and Derek.

You each found relevant articles and were the most effective at connecting the topics in the articles to topics in your paper.

The winner of Best Use of Class Topics is Jenna.

You looked back through a previous class case, Walmart, and used the case’s references as a starting point to search for more material.

The winner of Best Use of Media is Joey.

We felt you had the most relevant and entertaining media (in your case graph and cartoon)

The winner of Most Tenacious is Lauren M.

We felt you deserved an award for the amount of effort you put into translations.

The winner of The Luckiest SOB (Most Cited References) is Derek.

You found over 10,000 articles…which can be attributed to effective researching and some luck.  Anyhow, we felt you too deserved an award.

The winner of BEST Post is Danielle.

Congratulations Danielle!  We felt your blog on Stakeholder Pressure was well researched, well written and deserved the title of best post.

Stem Cells: The Great Debate


When I originally applied to Bucknell it was through the biology program. I grew up with a mom that worked as a nurse and a dad that worked with pharmaceutical companies, so I always heard a lot about healthcare. One of the studies that my dad frequently talked about was stem cell research. He would always say how amazing it was, and how many lives it could save, but I did not know the extent of this or about the ethical dilemmas behind it until recently.

For anyone that does not know, stem cells are cells found in organisms that divide and differentiate into specialized cell types. They can self-renew to produce more stem cells as well. These stem cells can be extracted from bone marrow, lipid cells, or blood. By extracting these cells from the donor and inserting them into another person, scientists have found that they can act as a repair system for the body and fight diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Sounds great, right?

Stem cell research has raised ethical, legal, religious, and policy questions. The main reason is the derivation of embryonic stem cells from early human embryos and embryonic germ cells from aborted fetal tissues. Furthermore, the general concept of the potential of generating human organs is another debate.

The following video tells a true success story of stem cells:

On the ABI/INFORM search engine I found a report produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Institute for Civil Society that performed a study to contribute to the public discussion related to stem cell research and its applications. The document, which is 51 pages long, is their study in which they propose recommendations for conducting stem cell research. This report was from 1999, but I figure the history of the debate will be important to take a look at.

One of the recommendations provided by the report was,

“Embryonic stem cells should be obtained from embryos remaining from infertility procedures after the embryo’s progenitors have made a decision that they do not wish to preserve them. This decision should be explicitly renewed prior to securing the progenitors’ consent to use the embryos in ES cell research.”

I thought this recommendation clearly added to the ethical debate surrounding stem cell research, because much of what is up for discussion is the actual process of gaining consent from the donors. This recommendation provides a basis for the process by which a couple should be addressed that is considering embryo donation, consent for research donation, or consent for destruction of the embryos. The report made it clear that only after the couple has definitely decided not to have the child that they should be approached a second time to discuss the use of embryos in ES cell research.

Obviously this is a huge ethical issue today, and there are many more details that I still do not know about stem cell research. I do think, however, that this report gave me the perfect understanding and potential solutions to the dilemma that I would need to write about this ethical dilemma.

Irony in Research- US Chamber of Commerce


As I was constructing a list of business groups and associations for our research projects, I was looking at the US Chamber of Commerce’s website.  The USCOC is almost always supportive of right-wing or Republican policies.  I wanted to see what they had published or even researched about poverty for a student’s white paper argument draft.

Their search engine, ironically, asked me if I meant “property” instead of “poverty.”

Unintended irony!

Stuff Week: Blog Prompt for Session 5, Blog 4


For your blog post, please take an item or object, with a clear brand identity, and explore what you can learn about the maker’s stance as a company on relevant BGS questions. As a bonus, you can watch the “Story of Stuff” at the Campus Theatre next Tuesday at 7 p.m.   Your post can go many directions:

  • Are they known as living their values? (For example, here is one outside group that recognizes “green” companies.)
  • Do they have critics?  How does the company respond?
  • Do they publicize a code of ethics?
  • Do they try to affect laws or public policy?  (Open Secrets is a fantastic resource to track down information; search the site, or use on of their reports or search tools).

Please, if you discover that your favorite branded company has a questionable or even awful track record, save the guilt.  Do you know how hard it is to buy clothes NOT made in questionable conditions?!?  Feel free to imagine a different world, but guilt is not the price of admission to that conversation.

For example, I think I will do Automagic, the company that makes wordpress.  Part of the reason is I thought of a company whose product I whole-heartedly endorse with word of mouth.  “Worpdress is great, better than blogger,” is a phrase I have said many times.  A little like AIG, I am giving away my good name to this product.  I suspect as a tech start up they are venture capital-funded and therefore probably have much less public info than bigger firms.  Do what you can!

 

ARE YOU GOING TO THE MOVIE?  Add your name to comments below.

Enron, “Asshole,” and Research Process


“You appreciate it?” was Richard Grubman’s response to Jeff Skilling dodging his persistent questions about the financial health of Enron on April 17, 2001.

Next, Skilling called him an “asshole” on a conference call with investment managers and analysts. I had heard about this infamous and perhaps symptomatic of the problems with Enron moment for years.  I decided to see if I could actually hear it.

  1. First, I’ll say something about that the conversation.
  2. Then, I’ll discuss research process. Continue reading

Blog Post 2 Instructions


  1. Find something “real” from Enron.  By real, I mean actual documents, voices, or material of the real people and events of the Enron case.  Avoid journalism in the from of articles.  This may be court documents, documentaries, oral histories, blogs form insiders FROM THAT time, Sherry Watkins memo and so on.  Hint: I know some business schools wrote cases praising Enron… that would be Ok also.  Discuss what you found and what it adds to our knowledge of Enron.  Hint: Use the footnotes in the Enron case for some ideas.
  2. Discuss role of blogging in writing and education.  What are pros and cons?  What have others said about this?
  3. Read and respond to the Stanford Encyclopedia article on business ethics.  Link to article.
  4. Provide more background on any of the big thinkers we have read about- C. Wright Mills,  Aristotle, John Stuart Mills and utilitarianism, or Kant.  Use hyperlinks or otherwise include sources you find.  Funny, interesting, or zany information, as long as it is accurate are ok.

Also,

You can check off each of these tasks…

Blog Skills Checklist for Session 3

  • You have changed your display name to something that makes sense.
  • You have added a real image for your avatar.
  • You know how to use categories and tags when crafting a post.
  • You know how to use the “read more” insert into a post so your post does not chew up the whole front page.
  • You know how to find the wordpress.com support.
  • You know how to include hyperlinks in your posts.
  • You know how to include multimedia in your posts.

BLOG INSTRUCTIONS

Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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