February 2007

According to my thesis schedule, I am meant to have my second chapter submitted now. Instead, I have 5200 words, only 1200 of which are about my case studies. Even within the analytical stuff, there is a lot of ambiguous sequencing, and a great many emphatic [ADD MORE HERE] editorial notes. It seems unlikely that […]


During the last day or so, there has been an unusually large amount of military air traffic over Oxford. Less than a minute ago, I saw a 101 Squadron Vickers VC-10 fly overhead, northwards (official site). The VC-10 is fairly unmistakable, due to the engine configuration: two on either side of the fuselage, back near […]


Perhaps it would be wise to interrupt regular blogging, while my thesis is coming together. Upon reflection, however, I find that the issue is more that I am not using time efficiently, and less that important tasks are absorbing too much of it. As ‘a’ (and probably ‘the’) major conduit between myself and most of […]


The conclusion from working on my second chapter is that I have read too much general background material and not enough on my case studies. I am fairly well covered on POPs, since I have done research on them before. Naturally, adding a few more sources would be nice, though there are not really a […]


One minor hiccough regarding the thesis has been cropping up continuously of late. One of my key terms has a trio of possible forms, each of which has a certain appeal and a certain problem: Policy making Policy-making Policymaking I think all three are acceptable English, and my preference vacillates between the three based on […]


One of the major issues that arises when examining the connections between science and policy are the ways information is framed. You can say that the rate of skin cancer caused by a particular phenomenon has increased from one in ten million cases to one in a million cases. You can say that the rate […]


At the same time as the second chapter of my thesis is firming up, my initiative to visit and photograph all 39 colleges is proceeding apace. Today, I visited Somerville College (where Margaret Thatcher read chemistry, a factor that may have contributed to her eventual strong support for CFC regulation, despite her ideological leanings) as […]


On darkness


in Daily updates

A student housing vignette When one of your circuit breakers blows, you need to go ask your landlords for the key to the cupboard where the switches are. When the light bulb in one room burns out, you use candles until the college replaces it. The first, you can really do very little about. The […]


One of the most telling things about a person’s personality may be which places they choose to do the masses of reading meant to dominate the lives of an Oxford student. There is a certain sort that appreciates the reading rooms in the Bodleian (and another sort forced there due to the location of necessary […]


The identification of an environmental ‘problem’ is not a single crystalline moment of transition, from ignorance to understanding. Rather, it is ambiguous, contingent, and dependent upon the roles and modes of thinking of the actors involved, and values that inform judgments. Rather like Thomas Kuhn’s example about the discovery of oxygen (with different people accessing […]