Thirty days until thesis submission

2007-03-23

in Daily updates, M.Phil thesis, Oxford, Writing

Spiral staircase in Oriel College

With my departure for the reading week in Dorset a mere nine days away, the pressure is on to submit as complete a thesis draft as possible, so there will be at least some opportunity for discussion before then. As such, my aim is to complete my consensus chapter by Sunday evening, at which point I mean to have it physically delivered.

The prospect of moving beyond the thesis is quite an alluring one. For months, the project has been dominating my attention – though often more on account of the anxiety it induces than in terms of workable ideas being generated and put on paper. The efficiency with which a project is completed basically seems to be inversely proportional to the total size. Dealing with a single email, one can use almost 100% of the time devoted to action actually working. For a research paper, it seems unlikely to be much above 50%. For a thesis, I would be surprised if 30% efficiency was being achieved.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 24, 2007 at 12:16 am

30% ?

3% would surprise me.

Milan March 24, 2007 at 1:00 pm

The appliance of science

Politicians and the public look to scientists to explain the causes of climate change and whether it can be tackled – and they are queuing up to deliver. But, asks Mike Hulme, are we being given the whole picture?

Wednesday March 14, 2007
The Guardian

Milan March 24, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Climate change expert slates US ‘interference’ in research

James Randerson, science correspondent
Monday March 19, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Milan March 24, 2007 at 1:05 pm

From the first of those:

“The danger of a “normal” reading of science is that it assumes science can first find truth, then speak truth to power, and that truth-based policy will then follow. Singer has this view of science, as do some of his more outspoken campaigning critics such as Mark Lynas. That is why their exchanges often reduce to ones about scientific truth rather than about values, perspectives and political preferences. If the battle of science is won, then the war of values will be won.

If only climate change were such a phenomenon and if only science held such an ascendancy over our personal, social and political life and decisions. In fact, in order to make progress about how we manage climate change we have to take science off centre stage.

This is not a comfortable thing to say – either to those scientists who still hold an uncritical view of their privileged enterprise and who relish the status society affords them, or to politicians whose instinct is so often to hide behind the experts when confronted by difficult and genuine policy alternatives.”

Anon @ Wadh March 24, 2007 at 1:11 pm

One quote that may comfort you:

“The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster.”
-Rosabeth Moss Cantor

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