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Sian Barber

• 5 • Formulating research questions This chapter will suggest how to identify and formulate achievable research questions. It will offer advice on how to identify an approach which both engages with your own interests and acknowledges and draws on work already undertaken in the field. The research question you design is closely related to the kind of research you will be undertaking and the approach that you will follow. There are a number of ways in which you can begin to formulate your research question. One of the best ways to begin is to consider what

in Using film as a source
Leonie Hannan
Sarah Longair

In Chapter 1 we considered how different disciplines approach the study of the material world and traced its role within historical practice. In this chapter, we will look at strategies for developing effective research projects using material culture. First, we focus on initiating your project, then on how to formulate effective research questions. We then discuss a range of issues that affect the design of your project, followed by four case studies, and conclude with guidance on creating a realistic research schedule. Putting these foundations in

in History through material culture
Jonathan Blaney
Sarah Milligan
Marty Steer
, and
Jane Winters

-readable form, most of the methods described in this book will be applicable, regardless of whether it began life as writing on parchment or as binary code. But before you get started with your research, it is vital to understand the way in which your digital source was created, and how it has been made available to you. The growing interest in material culture has led, among other things, to a much greater focus on the ways in which books and newspapers were produced, circulated and used. Historians working with digital sources need to have the same understanding of how

in Doing digital history
Brian Pullan
Michele Abendstern

chap 11 23/9/03 1:18 pm Page 239 11 Research and rationalisation In 1985 the UGC began to reveal the formula which it proposed to use in order to calculate the block grant for each university (‘transparency’ became one of the managerial watchwords of the late 1980s). About two-thirds of the grant would now depend on criteria related to teaching (student numbers, rather than proven pedagogic excellence), the rest on criteria related to research. It appeared that the Committee intended to divide universities into ‘cost centres’; to arrive at a ‘resource

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
Fears and dissociation in the 1970s
Jon Agar
Brian Balmer

6 Defence research and genetic engineering: fears and dissociation in the 1970s Jon Agar and Brian Balmer1 On 4 May 1978 a letter was sent to the Arms Control and Disarmament Department (ACDD) at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) raising concerns about cutting-edge genetics and biological warfare. The letter came not from a scientist, but from a distinguished historian, Michael Howard, then the Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford University. Howard had recently discussed the possible uses of genetic engineering for military means with

in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79
Saurabh Mishra

the late nineteenth century, significant investments into burgeoning new fields such as bacteriology? This certainly seems to be the case if we look at laboratories such as the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in South Africa, which spearheaded cutting-edge research that set the agenda for metropolitan organisations. 1 We need to ask whether the research carried out at institutes in India, such as the

in Beastly encounters of the Raj
Sabine Clarke

In 1941 the Colonial Office made a commitment to fund scientific research into the chemistry of sugar. If sugar cane could be used to make plastics, building materials, drugs and other synthetic products, then it was hoped the British West Indies would find themselves in the fortunate position of being producers of a lucrative raw material for the chemical industry rather than a low-value foodstuff. This was a vision that endowed laboratory research with the power to transform the economic and social life of the British West Indies. But how

in Science at the end of empire
Jon Agar

5 The Defence Research Committee, 1963–72 Jon Agar What is a useful and productive focus of analysis for historians of scientific governance? Committees are the natural unit of bureaucracy, and their workings are crucial in any account of either government at large1 or science policy decision making in particular.2 Since committees generate paperwork they form and organise the primary source records that are the starting point for historical research on government. However, the fact that such records are convenient is not a reason, in itself, to choose

in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79
Sabine Clarke

During the 1940s the scientists engaged by the Colonial Office were generally able to undertake projects of fundamental research in the chemistry of tropical products along lines of their own choosing. The notion that scientific researchers required the freedom to select their own research problems was a principle upheld by the CPRC and also officials at the Colonial Office concerned with the operation of the CDW Acts. By the early 1950s, however, officials at the Colonial Office were concerned that the work overseen by the CPRC was not

in Science at the end of empire
Vanessa Heggie

too, in 1931, eight years after Frank Romer’s first article on sports injuries, came the first book on sports injuries – Charles Heald’s Injuries and Sport . 8 In this period the British government also took a renewed interest in physical education and national fitness, passing the Physical Training and Recreation Act in 1937. 9 Changes in the mechanism and direction of government funding, and in the structure and practice of research in the universities led to a snowballing production of physiological knowledge about the human body at work and play. Changes

in A history of British sports medicine