BNC Text JK1

Scientific research - the whole truth?: seminar. Sample containing about 8776 words speech recorded in educational context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C543

PS48L Ag5 m (Rolf, age 60, student) unspecified
PS48P X m (Colin, age unknown, tutor) unspecified
JK1PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
JK1PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 116501 recorded on 1994-01-29. LocationLeicestershire: Leicester ( classroom ) Activity: seminar

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [1] Colin Cook, National Adult School Organisation.
[2] Monday the thirty-first of January, nineteen ninety four.
[3] This is then our meeting on Monday afternoon, the thirty-first of January at Claredon Park Adults School.
[4] The the topic that we said we would investigate today, comes from the hand-book.
[5] Er, it's page sixty-one and it's it's title is: Scientific Research, the Whole Truth, er and if you like I will draw the points out of the study and leave you to comment where there questions and where there aren't any questions to interject any comments that you feel appropriate.
[6] Er, let's remember that it is a study that is, to start us talking, and I'm sure we'll have no difficulty in finding some comments as we go through them.
[7] In the course of a life-time, so many facts and sense inhibitions impinge upon our minds, that our brains have become selective, and we're unconscious of much of this happening around us.
[8] In fact, we almost inhabit different words from other people, as our tastes and our interests differ so much.
[9] And we start off very soon then, with a question, In what ways do you find yourself selective.
[10] Which sounds, sights, or even events you block out from your mind, and to which, are you particularly sensitive.
[11] You're sensitive to the clicking of heels on the stairs, Mary, I know that, aren't you?
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [12] I shall not forget that one.
[13] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [14] I suppose the thing a lot of us block out of our minds, is when you're out, is traffic noise, isn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [15] Traffic noise.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [16] You try to block this out [...] don't you.
Colin (PS48P) [17] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [18] People walking above me, [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [19] Ah, right, are you, are you
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [20] Oh.
Colin (PS48P) [21] particularly conscious of that.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [22] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [23] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [24] Yes, definitely.
Colin (PS48P) [25] Well, that's something you'd like to block out from your mind.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [26] I would.
Colin (PS48P) [27] But you can't.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [28] Definitely.
Colin (PS48P) [29] Yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [30] And of course, now you're [...] with noisy music.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [31] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [32] Yeah, music, music, music.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [33] American accents.
Colin (PS48P) [34] American accents, ah, yes, yes, you'd like to block those out, would you?
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [35] Oh I, Oh I, like those, they're friendly. [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [36] Yeah.
[37] Mm.
[38] Interesting that, very interesting.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [39] Yeah, [...]
Colin (PS48P) [40] Erm, I I think I'd block out, erm, traffic noises, to some extent, because we live [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [41] Aye, you would then.
Colin (PS48P) [42] And erm, if I were to stop every time I heard a car go by, I'd be stopping all the time, erm, to some extent, it becomes a part of your pattern of existence.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [43] Oh, it does, yes.
Colin (PS48P) [44] And I tell you anoth another thing that I find that I blocked out from my mind sometimes, that's the sound of central heating, particularly fan assisted heating.
[45] It isn't here.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [46] When it switches on and off.
Colin (PS48P) [47] Here here is quiet.
[48] But in some buildings, you find that there is a constant fan noise.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [49] Yes, that's true, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [50] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [51] And we it, we become so used to it, that we we exclude from our minds, we don't think of it.
[52] And the same was true, with as you said, the fridge.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [53] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [54] Fridge is going, so you, they always have the whirring in the background, isn't there.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [55] Mm.
[56] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [57] Because ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [58] It isn't until you make a conscious effort to listen, you realise how much noise you are subject to in this modern world, do you really, it's true.
[59] When you make a point of try to listen to the world,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [60] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [61] It's surprising how much noise we are ... er subject to.
Colin (PS48P) [62] Yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [63] You say sound of fridges, traffic ...
Colin (PS48P) [64] And I think we we have grown up to be a noisy ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [65] Oh yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [66] Oh yes.
Colin (PS48P) [67] race.
[68] Perhaps noisy people generally speaking, the television is on, or the radio is on, or the record player is on, or the cassette player is on.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [69] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [70] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [71] Almost any house you go into, there is something goin , there is something on.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [72] I think we are a rarity, aren't we,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [73] Must be.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [74] 'cos in the morning there's, there's no radio on.
[75] We very rarely have the radio on, except we have the radio on at breakfast time, listen to the news and the weather forecast.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [76] Yeah, I do.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [77] But, then the radio doesn't go again, on again all day.
Colin (PS48P) [78] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [79] And our T V's never on in the morning.
Colin (PS48P) [80] No, no.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [81] Do you, do you.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [82] Er, so we'll probably an exception to the rule.
Colin (PS48P) [83] Rolf.
Rolf (PS48L) [84] The difficulty of this is, to have the telly on, and don't switch it off.
Colin (PS48P) [85] Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [86] I think that, that, that is, that's almost an insult, isn't it?
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [87] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [88] Yes, it is.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [89] Why did you come. [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [90] Yes, yes indeed.
[91] Erm, at least if they turned the sound off.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [92] Down.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [93] Turned the sound down.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [94] [laugh] oh right.
Colin (PS48P) [95] Well, I think sometimes, I, at at home, erm, if I'm, particularly if I'm typing, I like music, and if the phone goes, people must wonder what on earth it is, because there's music going on somewhere, which they obviously can hear in the background, but I like, I like that as a background.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [96] Oh, yes when you're tired, yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [97] And I'm using that in order to select.
[98] I choose the music I want to listen to.
[99] Rather than hear the sounds outside.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [100] Must be soothing, yes.
Colin (PS48P) [101] Yeah, yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [102] So it's the music, music is my choice, and I'm using that, if you like as a barrier, as a screen er against the outside world.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [103] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [104] Let's have a look at the next question.
[105] Erm, what are the ways, do you think, in which a scientist sees things differently from a poet or an artist, and are there ways in which they think alike ... How does a scientist see things differently from, either a poet or an artist.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [106] Well he's way above, in a world of his own, isn't he, really.
Colin (PS48P) [107] The scientist.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [108] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [109] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [110] Cut off from civilisation, I think.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [111] Yeah, yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [112] [...] realistic.
Colin (PS48P) [113] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [114] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [115] Rolf.
Rolf (PS48L) [116] [...] as a scientist works so much on his own, in his own little castle.
Colin (PS48P) [117] Mm.
Rolf (PS48L) [118] Where as er, poet or an artist has the publicity, if that's the right word
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [119] Mm.
Rolf (PS48L) [120] In mind.
Colin (PS48P) [121] Mm.
[122] Yes,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [123] Yes, he has people round him, doesn't he.
[124] Whereas a scientist hasn't.
Colin (PS48P) [125] Mm ... I cer certainly think that's that's that's one way of looking at it, but wh wha what about if if you were take a beautiful scene, the sky on Saturday evening was beautiful.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [126] Yes, it was.
Colin (PS48P) [127] I looked at that, and I'm not a scientist, and my thought was beauty, colour, contrast, erm, I thought I wish I could paint.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [128] If I were a scientist, perhaps I'd be looking at it, and say, what does that mean in terms of weather, what does it mean in terms of pressure, is it cumulus cloud or [...] says, what other cloud.
[129] The the the difference is perhaps that the scientist will analyse ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [130] Yeah, whereas we don't.
Colin (PS48P) [131] We don't.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [132] We don't, just generalise.
Colin (PS48P) [133] Yes, generalise, yes, perhaps that's the, yes, particular as opposed to general.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [134] Saturday night, I thought was the old saying, red sky at night, shepherds delight, [laughing] old saying, you know []
Colin (PS48P) [135] Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes indeed.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [136] There's an excellent example in the [...]
Colin (PS48P) [137] Erm, but if it's ... I don't know anything about the weather, so I couldn't look at that and analyse it in any way.
[138] I just had to say that is beautiful ... and I wish I had more words to describe it, but I haven't yet.
[139] Er, a scientist then, is often caricatured as an absent minded professor.
[140] So occupied with abstruse ideas, that he is incapable of coping with every day activities.
[141] Perhaps your thoughts go to the crazy inventor, surrounded by improbable pieces of machinery and electric sparks, or to Newton, sitting in an orchard, or to an efficient white- coated scientist.
[142] How much true do you think there is in the picture of a scientist as highly intelligent, completely amoral and withdrawn from the world.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [143] It's like ... well, it's it's it's a generalisation anyway, isn't it?
[144] Erm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [145] I think there's supposedly, a lot of truth in it, really is there.
[146] I suppose there are, odd ones.
Colin (PS48P) [147] Yeah, I can,th they ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [148] What puzzles me is that er, erm ... much, much of these bright new people, all seem to dress in such a, a despicable fashion, don't they, all sort of be, [...] dressed and scruffy and er, and er whether they they're so busy with [...]
Colin (PS48P) [149] Yes, that that that could be a possibility.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [150] I wonder how many things er break in life, [...] would be saved, you know, never look [...]
Colin (PS48P) [151] It's it's a question of priorities, isn't it, the, perhaps people feel the way that I dress is not important, the work that I do and the discoveries that I make, those are the important things.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [152] Some of our lecturers come on Sunday, you know, [...] they come dressed, [...] fashion in a week, I don't know.
Colin (PS48P) [153] Mm, mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [154] They just, you know, [...] any old [...]
Colin (PS48P) [155] Yeah, yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [156] I would agree that the scientist being [...] is probably is constant withdrawal from his [...] because he can't cope with what's going on around him, whilst he is in his scientific research.
[157] [...] a model of what he's trying to say [...] and I think, [...] sound [...] forgetful they are ...
Colin (PS48P) [158] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [159] and [...]
Colin (PS48P) [160] Mm.
[161] Yes, yes.
[162] Well, that's, is that is the the picture that you you have, the caricature, as they say, the absent minded professor, erm,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [163] There's something in it.
Colin (PS48P) [164] Oh, I think there is something in it, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [165] When they formed the Army Education Corp, during the war, they er, they wore uniform, most of them were warrant officers, and soldiers [laughing] but in uniform you could [...] come out [] I mean, they been ordinary soldiers, but they'd been put put on a charge every time the [...] saw them, you know.
[166] But er, they were, they were, they were soldiers, and they wore uniform, and badges of rank [laugh] such a scream, [...] and yet some of them were really nice blokes, you know.
[167] [...] in particular Sergeant , he was he was an organist and choir master at Yeovil Cathedral in peacetime, and he was music mad.
[168] Wonderful man, but completely [...] uniform, he was a proper character, he looked ridiculous every time he walked down the street, you know.
Colin (PS48P) [169] Yes, yes, yes, yes See it's interesting you should say that, erm, the study on Vaughn Williams, in the last year at Sandborne.
[170] Erm, points out that Vaughn Williams was the same, er, that when he was in uniform, he he was scruffy.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [171] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [172] He couldn't conform.
[173] He was in the army, and he was, you know, he was pleased do anything, he undertook some very difficult jobs.
[174] Er, he was in the ambulance corp, I think in the First World War, but he was a redback.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [175] Yeah, that's what I said to these chaps.
Colin (PS48P) [176] Yeah, yeah.
[177] But I mean, I think again, it's a matter of the way in which your mind takes over and says, it is not important how I dress ... and even if I'm in an army uniform, it doesn't matter.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [178] Prides [...]
Colin (PS48P) [179] Prides irrelevant [...] yes, yes.
[180] Research then, which is really the, erm, the the the type of the whole topic today.
[181] The Researcher.
[182] Scientific Research is often divided into compartments.
[183] Pure research is an attempt to produce a coherent framework of the facts and events occurring in the world around us.
[184] It's sometimes thought that this type of research takes place mainly in universities and institutes of higher education.
[185] That it advances knowledge, but has no intrinsic practical use.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [186] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [187] Applied Research, on the other hand, is thought to produce results which have an immediate application to industry, to technology or to medicine.
[188] These results could produce great profits, and are therefore carried out under the aegis of large firms, which hope to benefit from them.
[189] It's doubtful whether these distinctions were ever clear, and certainly nowadays, it's realised that pure and applied research goes side by side, within all research organisations.
[190] They are both funded by the same bodies.
[191] The science research council, industry and philanthropists.
[192] However, scientific research is expensive and it's natural that to some extent those who fund it, should expect to see returns and be able to influence its direction.
[193] This produces a pressure for results, which may result in reports for discoveries which haven't been fully tested.
[194] One recent example of this was when a scientist reported, what was known as cold fusion.
[195] That is the fusion of hydrogen atoms in a cold solution.
[196] The process normally occurs only at temperatures and pressures comparable with those found at the centre of the sun.
[197] If true, this would have been an amazing source of energy.
[198] But the experiment proved unrepeatable.
[199] And therefore, you begin to question whether it ever really happened in the first place, don't you.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [200] Erm, it re , it must, again, be a matter where er a scientist can become very enthusiastic and almost read into the results, what he expects to find there.
[201] Anyway the question erm, is, can you think of any ways in which scientists could be relieved of the pressure to get quick results.
[202] Should research be concentrated on topics from which an immediate use is seen, or is it possible for those who provide the funds, to take a longer view.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [203] Well, you can't rush a scientist, can you, 'cos he's discovering new things, isn't he.
Colin (PS48P) [204] And and sometimes it takes a long time, doesn't it.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [205] Long time, takes years.
[206] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [207] Yes.
[208] This is always talk talked about.
Colin (PS48P) [209] Mm.
[210] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [211] If er, scientists and his team works on a, or think they are on to a discovery or something that needs researching, can get, the necessary funding, [...] office, or firms that they benefit, [...] say this in the previous paragraph, that's fine, but to concentrate on topics which are [...] I don't think that happens.
[212] These things are usually, in my opinion, anyway, er, er the results are often accidents.
Colin (PS48P) [213] Yes, yes, I think that ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [214] You suddenly come across something, and, [...] whether it is er, medicine, mostly, or technique [...] think, first of them [...] one stage after another was invented, more or less by accident.
Colin (PS48P) [215] Yes, yes, accident plays a large part in it, I'm sure.
[216] That erm, very often the discovery of one thing is, perhaps and even unexpected spin-off from pursuing research into another.
[217] As a result of such.
[218] The Teefal saucepan that you have at home, er came doubtless from scientific research into space travel.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [219] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [220] Oh, that's right, yeah, yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [221] The use of silicone coverings came from that,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [cough]
Colin (PS48P) [222] certainly.
[223] Er, I mean, one of the immediate things, that er, we would like scientists to research, for example, is the common cold.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [224] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [225] It would do us all a lot of good.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [226] If they could find a cure for the common cold.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [227] Greatest benefit to mankind.
Colin (PS48P) [228] Yes, it, yeah.
[229] Now that is something immediate.
[230] But it's no good
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [231] That's right yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [232] putting a couple of scientists into a room and say, Find It.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [233] Well, after the war they had these clinics where people went
Colin (PS48P) [234] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [235] and volunteers went and got soaked, and sat in cold passages, to try and catch cold, they couldn't catch cold, could they.
Colin (PS48P) [236] Yes ... yes ... yes.
[237] No,th th that's that's
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [238] [...] trying [...]
Colin (PS48P) [239] That has only re recently closed down.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [240] [...] forty years.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [241] Yes, [...] only a few years ago.
Colin (PS48P) [242] Yes, indeed.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [243] With adverts in the
Colin (PS48P) [244] Yes, yes, yes,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [245] [...] I was er, I was prepared [...] remember, when I had my bone-graft, I went all prepared, shaved from head to foot wrapped up like a mummy, from my neck to my feet.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [246] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [247] Ready for the op on the Saturday, and Friday I st started to sneeze, they took me temperature, I'd got a cold, [...] between, it took us a fortnight and and, for the operation to come through it, common cold.
Colin (PS48P) [248] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes, yeah
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [249] And yet they were gonna take, a bone out and put it put it in my [...] and all sorts of things. [...]
Colin (PS48P) [250] So they, they, you see, that that that is in in an instant where it would have been enormously beneficial to have something to prevent the cold,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [251] That would cured it.
Colin (PS48P) [252] or cured the cold.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [253] Or prevent the cold, yeah
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [254] Yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [255] But a doctor, one of the doctors in the same hospital saying, that the, during the First World War, when they were so desperate, you know, so many casualties, they had to cut short treatment, and they had to bandage men up and leave them bandaged up a long length of, they found it was often better to leave a wound bandaged up in it's own ...
Colin (PS48P) [256] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [257] rather than keep stripping dressings off.
Colin (PS48P) [258] Yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [259] and th they, it was an old Indian treatment, they found it quite, sheer force of circumstances, er, that they discovered it was better sometimes to bind a wound up and leave it alone.
Colin (PS48P) [260] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [261] It healed better that way, than being constantly dressed and ...
Colin (PS48P) [262] Yes, yes yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [263] It was [...]
Colin (PS48P) [264] Yes, but then again, it was it was an incident.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [265] Incidental discovery.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [266] Incidental discovery.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [267] Yes, incidental, completely by accident.
[268] yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [269] I say most of these things are found by accident.
Colin (PS48P) [270] Yes, yes, I'm sure they are.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [271] A lot of it is, anyway.
Colin (PS48P) [272] and if it, if it were possible to to forecast absolutely what the result is going to be, er, scientific research would be much easier.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [273] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [274] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [275] People would be able to say with some, er, degree of certainty, how long the research is going to take, but I think one of the problems at the moment is, you can't always say.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [276] Just don't know.
Colin (PS48P) [277] Just how long it's gonna take.
[278] It might take months, it might take years, it might never even be possible.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [279] 'Cos I think another thing, where a lot of pressure comes on scientists, is where, it says a lot of cases, where profit is in the offing, this is a thing,
Colin (PS48P) [280] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [281] we wanted to get people [...] chemical, [...] wanted to get a thing through, so they could make a profit from it.
[282] I think that's where a lot of the pressure comes in now, I should think, on scientists.
Colin (PS48P) [283] Oh yes, yes I'm sure it is.
[284] And this is particularly true, you you mentioned medicines and drugs.
[285] I think this is particularly true, [...] medicine [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [286] That's what I was thinking of, actually, in the medical [...]
Colin (PS48P) [287] Erm, I I heard something over the weekend, that that erm, mentioned er an American drug company, that has come up with whatever drug and it's moved from being a million pound concern, into a multi-million pound concern, because of these discoveries,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [288] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [289] Er, now it's a very good company, it's not a British company.
[290] It's a great pity it's not a British company, because it's it's would be a great source of revenue in this country.
[291] Er, but that, there must have been enormous pressure on the scientist working in those great laboratories
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [292] Mm.
[293] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [294] to come up with er, a solution for whatever it was they were they were going into.
[295] Yes, er must must be enormous pressure exercised there.
[296] I don't think I'd like to work under that pressure.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [297] 'Cos I wonder whether it's that sort of pressure that caused some of these drugs to come out which caused thalidomide which drops to mind, [...] thalidomide, whether that was pressure through, you know to the damage that did, you see.
Colin (PS48P) [298] Yes, yes, mm yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [299] whether that was in, under pressure.
Colin (PS48P) [300] It has to be, it has to be rushed
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [301] through.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [302] You can hardly try them on humans, that the the [...] of these, I mean.
[303] Must be a risk, they must know there is a risk, mustn't they.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [304] Oh, yes.
Colin (PS48P) [305] Oh, yes, they they obviously go through a stage of trying to make sure that erm, theoretically it is correct ,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [306] and then they do er conduct some experiments on animals, and you know, that that again is a question, erm
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [307] Ethical the choice is wrong, I mean, some drugs suit some people, and not others.
Colin (PS48P) [308] Yeah, yes, but there there's gotta come a time when they have to test it on human beings.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [309] Human beings.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [310] Human beings.
[311] yes.
Colin (PS48P) [312] I mean, the the one that's, I suppose talked about a lot nowadays is A I D S, and there are some drugs, that have, will not cure A I D S, but will slow down, not the progression, but the regression that takes place with A I D S
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [313] Yeah, that's right.
Colin (PS48P) [314] And erm, they they they must try them on human beings, and I'm sure there are some people who are quite prepared to these tried.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [315] To try them.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [316] 'Cos there must be a great deal of pressure on the scientific erm er, problem was there and try and find [...]
Colin (PS48P) [317] Certainly, yes, yes, yeah.
[318] That that again, if you if you were able to say that's gonna happen, that will that will that must be given priority, but there's no guarantee they can find it.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [319] No, no.
[320] no.
Colin (PS48P) [321] However many you get, and however long they work, there's no guarantee they'll come up with a solution at the end. [phone rings]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [322] No. [...]
Colin (PS48P) [323] Telephone, well, it's not for us, no.
[324] Scientific research is usually carried out by a team of scientists, often from several disciplines who work together, each of whom contributing something to the whole.
[325] This method is often faster and it enables very expensive apparatus to be put to better use.
[326] It may also overcome the problem that, from time to time, scientific discoveries were claimed, which had resulted in the falsification of results, their misinterpretation or too selective use.
[327] Can you remember any occasions where wrong or even dangerous results have been produced in this way.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [328] Oh yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [329] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [330] Mhm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [331] Yes, yes, yes, yes, yeah.
[332] So th there, there, there we have the example, don't we.
[333] Erm,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [334] Well, it's the thalidomide that you [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [335] yes yes,
Colin (PS48P) [336] that you were talking about.
[337] Very very much last case.
[338] Very very serious.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [339] Erm.
Colin (PS48P) [340] I suppose there is always the danger that the scientist will see things, will be able to interpret things in the way that he or she wishes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [341] [...] wishful thinking.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [342] Yes, wishful thinking.
Colin (PS48P) [343] Wishful thinking [...] yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [344] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [345] Erm, the only example that I thought of, reading through this was erm, that of intelligence testing, erm, because intelligence testing er was held in high esteem about forty or fifty years ago.
[346] Maybe it will coming back into fashion now, I don't know, but there is no question as to whether some of the early er research that was done into the measurement of intelligence, was in fact fair, and fairly represented.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [347] I know some of the weird things they brought in that, towards the latter end of the war.
[348] In the army, there was hundreds of people were put through selection tests and [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [349] Yes, yeah, yeah
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [350] Sticking your urine in a bottle, lot of blocks, sticking them in different coloured shaped holes and things like that, you know.
Colin (PS48P) [351] Yes, yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [352] But er, it was all the rage in about forty-five, forty-six.
Colin (PS48P) [353] Oh, certainly, yes, yes, and and it carried on for a long time afterwards, and and I think is is still used in some selection processes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [354] Is it.
Colin (PS48P) [355] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [356] Oh [...]
Colin (PS48P) [357] But there are, I think there is question as to as to whether you can accurately erm, explain what a level of intelligence is, but comparison with other people, because some of the data that that was used in some of the earlier testing, erm, was faulty, so I have heard.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [358] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [359] Er, but there again I think it was because the person doing this, was so keen to see the right result, that he read into into
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [360] Into
Colin (PS48P) [361] information coming back, erm, ideas and trends, you know, tendencies that weren't really there.
[362] Obtaining the evidence by observation.
[363] Evidence is all around us, and the first step in any research is for the scientist to decide which of the many facts are of concern to him.
[364] His mind must act as a filter.
[365] Collection of data may be a slow process, throughout his life, observe the time of appearance of the planets against the background of the stars.
[366] These planetary tables enabled to work out and test his flaws for planetary motion.
[367] Others such as geologists or naturalists may be able to collect that information much more rapidly, but again it may be years before it can be used to produce a theory of evolution.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [368] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [369] Do you that a child's mind works in this way, as he or she looks at the world and finds meaning of [...] in it, and are others who are influenced by their own experiences and by their conclusions of others.
[370] In other words, is the is the child more able simply to observe and draw conclusions based on that.
[371] Whereas the adult is influenced by what he or she already knows or by what other people have been saying.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [372] And a child's mind is free of clutter, isn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [373] Yes, yes, yes indeed, a child's mind is is ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [374] If we can get past the clutter, we found that out, when, in our generation we tried to switch over to decimalisation,
Colin (PS48P) [375] Mm mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [376] Get rid of all the clutter, but that's what we found it most difficult to ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [377] Still not [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [378] To decimalise.
Colin (PS48P) [379] Yes, yes, it's still not there.
[380] No, no.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [381] I took a retirement [...] I took early retirement [...] coming in the [...]
Colin (PS48P) [382] You you you would ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [383] No.
[384] I couldn't do the old one now.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [385] No.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [386] Sometimes I [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [387] [...] the metres and things.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [388] [...] all the measurements I can't ...
Colin (PS48P) [389] Yes, yeah, so [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [390] [...] a metre and then [...]
Colin (PS48P) [391] Don't, let let let's just think of that for a moment as an experience, erm, as far as money is concerned.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [392] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [393] Do you find it easier to deal with.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [394] Oh yes.
Colin (PS48P) [395] Pence and pounds than it was to deal with the old pounds, shillings and pence.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [396] Oh, yes.
Colin (PS48P) [397] There's [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [398] I always refer back.
Colin (PS48P) [399] You refer back.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [400] You shouldn't.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [401] I have, I know it is.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [402] You shouldn't
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [403] And I often think to myself, when I'm paying for something, think to myself, oh I would never have paid that years ago.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [404] you know.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [405] I know.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [406] When you, when you work it out.
Colin (PS48P) [407] Yes, yes, yes, yes,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [408] how much more you would have had to pay.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [409] Oh, it's a lot easier, the only thing I want to
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [410] It's much easier.
Colin (PS48P) [411] It's much easier.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [412] [...] morning, I found I had blank spot with the old twenty pence piece.
[413] It's gone now, of course.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [414] Ten pence piece.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [415] The the ten pence piece, yes sorry, the ten pence piece.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [416] And the florin.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [417] I kept mixing it up with the florin,
Colin (PS48P) [418] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [419] and yet, and I had some really embarrassing experience, getting it off
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [420] [...] and querying all the change, getting dirty looks, and I could not get that point out of the [...] brain.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [421] Kept thinking it was twenty [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [422] I took me no end of time [...]
Colin (PS48P) [423] Yes, [...] yes I can see that.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [424] Ten p
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [425] [...] two shillings.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [426] And he kept thinking it was twenty.
Colin (PS48P) [427] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [428] I had some really dirty looks from people in the shops, bus conductors, you know.
Colin (PS48P) [429] Yes.
[430] But I think, I think that in the main
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [431] the changeover to a decimal based currency was easier.
[432] But what about other things like, erm, distance,wh what [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [433] [...] the metres.
Colin (PS48P) [434] Metres [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [435] [...] you know.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [436] I'd come up ... [...]
Colin (PS48P) [437] Metres.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [438] I don't bother, I still think in what I do,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [439] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [440] in my [...]
Colin (PS48P) [441] Yes, yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [442] I do it, it doesn't bother me all that much, no.
Colin (PS48P) [443] Do you, do you, do you think in metres.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [444] I'm I'm perfectly used to the distance system,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [445] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [446] I've got all that, perhaps prejudice [...] of them.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [447] [laugh] [...] you actually [...] didn't you.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [448] And we have [...] car, I still talk in miles.
Colin (PS48P) [449] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [450] And I still fill up with petrol by the gallons.
Colin (PS48P) [451] Gallons, yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [452] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [453] Erm, I personally prefer litres, but I transmit that the [...] [singing] four and half litres [] about four and a half litres [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [454] And I reckon the miles, and petrol consumption [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [455] [...] yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [456] I don't know why.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [457] No, I don't either, no, no, it it it's strange, there are certain things that are difficult.
[458] I mean erm, I don't know the height of this room, but erm, I could not begin to guess in metres, but I would think, you know, a door is six foot six, traditionally in height, add a couple of feet on, it's, you know.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [459] That's twelve feet [...]
Colin (PS48P) [460] Yes, yes,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [461] Ten feet [...]
Colin (PS48P) [462] Now, if if I were to say, let us now have that conversation using erm,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [463] metres.
Colin (PS48P) [464] metres.
[465] It would be very difficult for me.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [466] I couldn't, I couldn't do it.
[467] No.
Colin (PS48P) [468] Very difficult.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [469] No, no.
Colin (PS48P) [470] I I, because I do erm, a lot of kilometres, travelling a abroad.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [471] I have a ...
Colin (PS48P) [472] I have no difficulties in miles and kilometres.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [473] I've got an amaryllis, that high, but I couldn't tell you high it is in metres.
Colin (PS48P) [474] Could, no, no, no. [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [475] I would say it was three foot six.
Colin (PS48P) [476] And what about the height of an individual.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [477] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [478] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [479] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [480] Erm, I still don't know what average height is, I know that in in in general, in in in erm, imperial measure, it is f five feet eight inches for a man, it's supposed to be average.
[481] But I've no idea what that is in metres.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [482] No.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [483] No.
Colin (PS48P) [484] So I never needed to know that.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [485] I don't think you try.
Colin (PS48P) [486] No, no.
[487] It's very [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [488] No.
Colin (PS48P) [489] But I'm sure [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [490] I couldn't tell you. [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [491] You couldn't [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [492] Erm may I say, while you've been ... [...]
Colin (PS48P) [493] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [494] [...] across your groin [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [495] One metre seventy, or something
Colin (PS48P) [496] One metre seventy, but it was something like, yes, yes,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [497] Something like that.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [498] It's the same with weight, isn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [499] Yeah, yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [500] Same with weight.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [501] Oh yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [502] It's the same with weights.
[503] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [504] Mm mm.
Colin (PS48P) [505] Yes, I suppose, you see,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [506] If you, if you haven't got the old clutter to get rid of, it's fairly simple.
Colin (PS48P) [507] Yeah.
[508] Well, just learning one more system.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [509] But to get [...] it's quite, on top of the other thing, it seems seems quite complicated, doesn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [510] It's not unlike language, if you grow up speaking a language, it's easy
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [511] Oh ar, it's easy
Colin (PS48P) [512] If you have to acquire it as a new one, it's
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [513] [laugh] Seen children take to it, like a duck takes to water, don't it.
Colin (PS48P) [514] Yeah, yes, I I sometimes have difficulty with my twelve year old daughter,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [515] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [516] because she understands litres and millilitres, and she understands kilograms and grams, and I still think, I suppose in pounds
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [517] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [518] and in pints, and if she's trying to cook something, and she says, daddy what does four hundred millilitres mean?
[519] I have to stop and think, and I have to work out that four hundred millilitres is not quite five hundred millilitres, so it's about, but I'm not sure how about a pou a pint.
[520] But it's very difficult, I've got to go through all that, before I can answer her question.
[521] And all she wants to know is do I use this jug, or do we use that jug.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [522] I think she's supposed to be [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [523] The next generation, no, no, the next generation.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [524] Must be doing litres for about twenty years, and I've been retired ten years.
Colin (PS48P) [525] Yes, oh certainly.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [526] and we were working in litres [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [527] Oh yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [528] a good ten years [...]
Colin (PS48P) [529] Oh, wait a minute, it must be, because erm,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [530] More than that.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [531] No.
Colin (PS48P) [532] Oh, more more than that, because I was, I I can remember being in school
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [533] [...] job and all.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [534] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [535] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [536] working under a headmistress, now sadly died, when the the the head of maths did a presentation to the whole school, so this was prior to nineteen seventy four when she retired.
[537] So nineteen seventy two I should think.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [538] Oh, yes, easy, it's been [...] I one of the thing,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [539] one of the things that was driving me mad in last part of my career was, I was responsible for documentation, the fuel issues on the, round a thousand of gallons a day.
Colin (PS48P) [540] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [541] And it got to the point where our pumps were issuing the fuel in gallons, but the fuel companies were bringing it in in litres.
Colin (PS48P) [542] In litres.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [543] And I had to do conversions on thousands of pounds and litres and gallons, I was working from a con
Colin (PS48P) [544] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [545] a con conversion table, [laughing] I hadn't got [...] it was. []
Colin (PS48P) [546] Yeah, I can imagine, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [547] [...] gallons and litres.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [548] That was the ... that was, that was over thir fourteen years ago.
Colin (PS48P) [549] Yeah, yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [550] So that
Colin (PS48P) [551] I think it was about nineteen seventy two that we went decimal.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [552] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [553] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [554] We're gradually getting used to it.
[555] Ah, so the the child's mind is uncluttered, it's more easily able to erm, observe things, take in things, learn things, and has a lot of advantages over us older, us adults.
[556] By contrast, legend has it that in some cases, a single observation may result in a great discovery and here we've got one or two examples.
[557] The lifting of a kettle lid by the steam from boiling water may have led Watt to the discovery of steam power.
[558] Similarly observation, of the clear patch in a dish of agar on a jelly is said to have resulted in Flemming's discovery of antibiotics such as penicillin.
[559] Now we go on then, to the section obtaining the evidence by experiment.
[560] Observations show that events are not isolated but interact with each other, often producing a complex situation.
[561] Scientists use experiments, especially those which can be carried in a laboratory or under controlled conditions to simplify these interactions.
[562] When wanted to investigate this springiness of the air, he first identified the factors which might be involved, such as volume, pressure and temperature.
[563] These factors are known as the variables in an experiment.
[564] He set out to see how, changes in pressure, that's the variable, affecting the following, the dependent variable, keeping the other variable, that is the temperature, unchanged as a fixed parameter.
[565] Most experiments are concerned in the same way with a variable, a dependent and fixed parameters, now that's that's that's a lot to take in, in one go, isn't it.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [566] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [567] But, you could, you could just imagine, you've got three things, one, each one is interdependent on the other, change one and the others will change.
[568] So if you change number one and number two, it is possible to keep number three the same.
[569] As long as you are doing to number two something appropriate as effective by what you have decided to do.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [cough]
Colin (PS48P) [570] We move on then a little bit, to talk about sociologists, because that's that's another area of science, erm, where a lot of observation was research and is done.
[571] Sociologists wanted to have their results accepted as scientifically accurate, have worked in the same way, but not always successfully, when dealing with people, is not always to easy to think of all the things which may affect the result.
[572] So sociology then, is the study of socie the study of people, and is rather different from studying materials which are, perhaps, not so variable.
[573] What are the factors, which if ignored, could affect the accuracy, for example, of opinion poles, and can scientific methods be successfully used in artistic, in social or political fields.
[574] Let's think about opinion poles.
[575] Can you think of factors which will influence the result.
[576] There's a lot, perhaps, difficult to take into consideration.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [577] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [578] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [579] The weather.
Colin (PS48P) [580] The weather.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [581] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [582] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [583] Erm, people go around trying to get data for the er, subject for discussion, and if it's rain, they don't find any proper average of the [...] to [...]
Colin (PS48P) [584] Mm mm mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [585] Erm, [...]
Colin (PS48P) [586] Any other.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [587] Can have an effect.
Colin (PS48P) [588] What else can have an effect?
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [589] Well, I suppose, if somebody's going around with an opinion pole, and they ask you about a certain, what you think about a certain thing, that, that, presume what their asking about, may affect everybody in different way [...]
Colin (PS48P) [590] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [591] I mean, some [...] may affect me one way, the next person they ask, affected another way, so they get two different opinions, don't they.
Colin (PS48P) [592] Yes, yes, yes, yeah.
[593] Although they would try to work that out by saying, for example, erm, we would have during the course of the day, to interview somebody from, you know, so many males, so many females, so many in this age group, so many in that age group, so many who perhaps, I don't know whether they go down to look at your address, or or whatever.
[594] But they tr , they're doing their best to get across, you you know, you sometimes wonder why they pick on you, and they don't pick on me.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [595] That's right, yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [596] They're obviously saying well, he fits into a certain category, whereas I don't.
[597] So erm, they they try to [...] consider it.
[598] I think the thing that occurs to me, erm, they don't always know, erm, what has just happened to you.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [599] No.
Colin (PS48P) [600] Erm, so do ho if if the question is how do you react to so- and-so, you're answer may very well depend on whether you've just stubbed your toe, against the pavement as you got off the bus.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [601] Or whether you've had to wait for an hour in the rain for the bus to come along, whether you're in a good mood or a bad mood.
[602] Your answers may very well be affected by ho how your are feeling.
[603] Tha that's one thing that can't be taken into consideration.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [604] So, if the same [...] every day,
Colin (PS48P) [605] Mhm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [606] investigates something, and there's half a dozen people in the group to give their opinion, it's not what worth the paper it's printed on.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [607] No.
Colin (PS48P) [608] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [609] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [610] No.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [611] No.
Colin (PS48P) [612] Because they they are picked at random.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [613] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [614] Yes, could be could be anybody, yes, yes.
[615] I'll tell a another way in which erm, er, you your comment about climates, about weather, may influence things.
[616] You can have a very good er, opinion pole about the outcome of an election.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [617] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [618] The outcome of the election may depend upon the weather.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [619] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [620] Because, er, is it the floating voters, or is it the others who will turn out, regardless of the weather.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [621] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [622] They'll be some people who erm, for whatever reason won't come out because it's the worst possible day ... for the weather, and and and poles have been affected by weather.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [623] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [624] You can't, you can't calculate that.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [625] No.
Colin (PS48P) [626] No way in which you can calculate that.
[627] But wh what about scientific metho methods when they are studying sociology, the second part of that question.
[628] Can scientific methods be successfully used in let's say social or political fields.
[629] The study of sociology.
[630] I I I got a little bit involved in that a few years ago, when I was working on it, having had some scepticism before-hand.
[631] The idea that you you you look at people and you try to calculate the way in which they work, and and and how their behaviour and how their relationships affect other people ... I think we display a degree of not knowing very much about that, don't we?
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [632] Well, I could see [...] yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [633] [...] Well, go on, say something about it, it [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [634] Well, [...] sociologists and their families.
Colin (PS48P) [635] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [636] It was very successful in establishing the details about execution and erm, [...] and so on.
[637] But, coming to the practical side of it, [...]
Colin (PS48P) [638] Mm mm.
[639] That's very interesting because we're always going back to the earlier comment that, perhaps [...] people like scientists, like sociologists are intelligent, but not in touch.
[640] they're not practical people,th erm, and it may very well be that there are some people who are very good at the theory, but erm, are not very good at at the practice.
[641] Le let let let.
[642] You need to have somebody who can use the results of the research, and see its practical applications.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [643] Yes, yes.
Colin (PS48P) [644] And that isn't, that isn't always very easy.
[645] Erm, we we we don't seem to know very much about sociology and political science.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [646] Not a lot .
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [647] Not a lot.
Colin (PS48P) [648] No, but but in interesting area, very interesting.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [649] [laugh] always something
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [650] What about [...] think of it.
Colin (PS48P) [651] [laugh] Yes, yes, well some of my, some of my best friends are sociologists, so I must be careful.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [652] Oh [...] [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [653] Must be careful what I say, yes, but that that that's ...
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [654] I I often wonder how a person can get a degree in sociology.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [655] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [656] I don't quite know how, erm,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [657] What are the subjects?
Colin (PS48P) [658] What are the subjects.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [659] Yeah.
[660] How about the lower social.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [661] Well, the higher social. [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [662] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [663] It's ba , yes, I I couldn't give you an answer, because I I I
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [664] Mm .
Colin (PS48P) [665] didn't come from that sort of background.
[666] I I latched onto it later on.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [667] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [668] Erm, but I I will see if I can find some information, it maybe that I, yes, you want to comment.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [669] [...] get a degree of political science.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [670] Oh, that's a good idea, mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [671] And and you hear of people having a degree in political science, how can a person obtain a degree in political science.
[672] I mean,polit er science, political science is not an exact knowledge.
Colin (PS48P) [673] Well, no, it's it's I don't know whether political science could be exact, er,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [674] Maybe science is the wrong word, but it it it it do , erm, science basically means knowing, means knowledge.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [675] But it it would be interesting to know what sort of a background you have to have, in order to have a degree in sociology.
[676] Erm, I ought to know this, but it's not the sort of thing that I have on my fingertips.
[677] You you perhaps know you get [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [678] in sociology.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [679] No.
[680] Depend on what your studying, I suppose, doesn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [681] Yes, I mean, the the the rea , the people that I've had most contact with, erm, in sociology, are those who are concerned with, what is known as the labour market.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [682] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [683] The way in which work employment er, is available
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [684] Ah.
Colin (PS48P) [685] or not available.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [686] Ah.
Colin (PS48P) [687] The level of unemployment, whether the unemployment erm, is for example, one of the old, or the younger element of society, er, where the difficulties are, er, what the employer thinks, how how many people, of what size are unemployed, how many people, of what age and of what sex.
[688] Now that's qui , that that I, having been involved in that to some extent,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [689] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [690] I find it very interesting.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [691] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [692] And you can see the, you can see the way in which it can be applied, if we know, erm, that there are erm, too many people of a certain age, and too few jobs, then maybe we can do something about it.
[693] Th th the trouble is the government seems to go the other way, and er, when when it should be learning my opinion, lowering the age at which you receive your pension, they want to extend the age into which you have to work.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [694] Mm, right.
Colin (PS48P) [695] Erm, there you are, that's always political, and we don't we don't want to [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [696] Four million people.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [697] So it's normally dealing with people, isn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [698] It is, it's dealing with people.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [699] Dealing with people.
[700] But erm, funnily enough I I I was out erm, on Saturday evening, and by a strange coincidence, er, where we were sitting having a meal, erm, in the restaurant, erm, someone came in and joined us, we saw, some friends of ours, and he is a sociologist from the University.
[701] And I'd been wondering whether like I could perhaps persuade him or his boss, the professor to come along and talk to us, and let, some of their time is very full, and to them time is money.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [702] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [703] There was a time, I'm sure, a few years ago, when you could have said, can you spare us an afternoon, they would have been only too pleased, but now, they might have to say, well, you know, two hours of my time, that's that's the university and you know, there are the overheads, and
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [704] But they're a salaried, aren't they?
Colin (PS48P) [705] They're salaried, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [706] [...] should have done it.
Colin (PS48P) [707] Oh, yes, yes, but there there was certainly a time when, er universities, schools and even business companies, thought that it was part of their erm, their way of supporting society in general, that they gave time to go out and give talks.
[708] Er, I think there is a tendending now, for them to say, oh, I'm terribly sorry, we can only do this against payment.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [709] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [710] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [711] Well, that's economic pressure.
Colin (PS48P) [712] Economic pressures, yes, yes.
[713] My, you know, time is money, erm, if I can't account for it,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [714] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [715] It's like you calling, you know, calling one of your accountants,
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [716] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [717] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [718] You know, he he gives two hours of his time.
[719] I'm sure we can get an accountant to come and speak to us, but we might have to pay him for two hours work, you see.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [720] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [721] And that, you'll have to take out a mortgage to do that.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [722] But anyway, anyway.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [723] Erm, the chicken to the egg, which comes first.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [724] Over the years.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [725] Haven't found out yet, have we. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [726] [laughing] No. []
Colin (PS48P) [727] Over the years, it has never been certain, except in the very simplest cases, what comes first in scientific research.
[728] Do observations lead to a sudden idea or to a theory?
[729] Or, does the scientist know first, what he or she is looking for, in order then, to select the information he or she needs.
[730] A astronomer looks at the stars, a doctor looks at the human body.
[731] If they are too selective, they may miss the vital factor.
[732] It took many years for scientists studying malaria to realise it was the mosquito that was important, not the messenger from the martians.
[733] If experimental methods are to be used, then some theory must already be present.
[734] The results of the experiment may disprove a theory and it will then be abandoned with another.
[735] Results can never prove a theory.
[736] For in the future, under different conditions, there is always the possibility of showing that it's wrong.
[737] Nowadays, scientists look at laws and theories from a new prospective.
[738] They realise that improved techniques may disprove today's theory, and so they no longer use the terms, true and false, right or wrong, but only value a theory for it's usefulness at the time.
[739] It will be difficult to assess what counts as success in scientific research.
[740] For the researcher, it may be different things, it may be money, prestige, a claim by his piers, promotion within the team, notoriety, the ac acquisition, new knowledge.
[741] It could be the moment when, after years of tedious work, he obtains the result which leads to a flash of inspiration, a breakthrough to new knowledge, a glimpse into the future.
[742] And to close there, a few questions, let's take them one at a time.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [743] Or to shoot them, sir.
Colin (PS48P) [744] Or to shoot them, yes, yes, yes, if things go wrong.
[745] Or if they're found out, perhaps, yes, having based their decisions on faulty material.
[746] Do you think the joy of discovery is enhanced, if the new knowledge could be used for the good of mankind, or do you think knowledge per se, is enough.
[747] Do you think that your discovery is enhanced, if the new knowledge can be used for good of mankind, or do you think that acquiring new knowledge is just enough on it's own.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [748] Could be, for instance, the knowledge of D N A
Colin (PS48P) [749] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [750] At the Universit university, which lead to the discovery of the murderer.
Colin (PS48P) [751] Yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [752] Now, I think that's a [...]
Colin (PS48P) [753] Mm mm.
[754] I think that I think that D N A is a very good example, because erm, it presumably, it was initially a piece of jury search.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [755] Only he had no idea what he was after.
Colin (PS48P) [756] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [757] I know, I know,
Colin (PS48P) [758] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [759] And er, it just suddenly ...
Colin (PS48P) [760] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [761] Yes, yeah, and now it it it's almost current language.
[762] Most people know about D N A, they they know the expression, they know what it means, they [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [763] Yes, very common knowledge.
[764] And and of course, it has led to the conviction of a number of erm, criminals, number of murderers, certainly.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [765] Before then, nobody had ever heard of it.
Colin (PS48P) [766] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [767] Mm mm.
[768] But I I wonder ... if, when it was discovered, the feeling was, jury named, it was a discovery, a new discovery.
[769] Or whether it was a feeling that this is wonderful, because it would be of use to mankind.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [770] Well, I think he said before, let's see whether we can use this,
Colin (PS48P) [771] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [772] On this particular [...]
Colin (PS48P) [773] Yes, yes.
[774] yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [775] And it happens to have come out right.
Colin (PS48P) [776] Mm mm.
[777] What about the discovery of atomic power? [whistling]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [778] Yes.
Colin (PS48P) [779] It was, was it ...
Colin (PS48P) [780] Erm, so er, there must have been a situation where he was discovered, that it was possible to split the atom, basically.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [781] Yes, well that was,wha the, what was the name Hes
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [782] [...] Einstein, wasn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [783] Einstein.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [784] Ein Einstein.
Colin (PS48P) [785] Einstein.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [786] No, what what, you know, what Einstein was [...] now, because, a chap called Heysing, something similar.
[787] [spelling] H E Y S I []
Colin (PS48P) [788] Mhm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [789] Something like that.
Colin (PS48P) [790] Yes, yeah, yeah.
[791] But at that st
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [792] And then New New [...]
Colin (PS48P) [793] Yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [794] That's the one, Newton
Colin (PS48P) [795] Mm, mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [796] [...] yeah.
[797] Erm, but at that stage, it was very much, pure science.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [798] That's called pure science.
Colin (PS48P) [799] It is a theory.
[800] It's been proved that the theory can work in practice.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [801] Yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [802] At that stage they weren't sure, as I understand it, what could be the use, misuse, abuse of this discovery.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [803] Mm.
Colin (PS48P) [804] But it was almost, think wonderful, that they were able to discover this.
[805] Erm, and then of course, later, someone was able to turn this ... into a fearful weapon, that that was often my view of the thing.
[806] Erm, who only later realised what he had opened up to the whole of mankind.
[807] Erm, that that that that is a point where the discovery in itself, must have given a great deal of pleasure to a a er a number of people who've been involved in the, in the research.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [808] Well of course a very long process of discovery and experimenting, and eventually
Colin (PS48P) [809] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [810] got the, got the [...] through that stage, erm, heavy water.
Colin (PS48P) [811] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [812] That was [...] in Norway, and [...] got away from the Nazis
Colin (PS48P) [813] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [814] and then reached it's destination in America.
Colin (PS48P) [815] It's a, very, very, very, complex story [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [816] That's where the pressure comes in again, isn't it.
Colin (PS48P) [817] Pressure?
[818] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [819] The pressure to do work against [...] 'cos they knew that Germany were working on the same lines, didn't they, the enormous pressure to get there first. [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [820] I mean, the research is still going on.
Colin (PS48P) [821] Mm, mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [822] Oh, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [823] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [824] I think it's a thing that they wish they could dis-invent, don't they. [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [825] Well, yes, but then you begin to wonder what would,ho how, would, if they, if you could dis-invent.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [826] You can't dis-invent it.
Colin (PS48P) [827] What would, what would have happened to history.
[828] But that's another [...] Let, let, let's see if we can tackle at least one more, before the tea comes in.
[829] Do you know of any cases where the desire for success has led a scientist to falsify or misinterpret, either unintentionally, or deliberately.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [830] It has been done, but I couldn't give an example.
Colin (PS48P) [831] No, no.
[832] I feel exactly the same.
[833] I'm sure that I've heard of instances where, er, the results have been falsified, [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...] [crockery being brought in]
Colin (PS48P) [834] in order to make it look it right.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [835] Yeah, yeah.
Colin (PS48P) [836] Erm, and the last question, very quickly then.
[837] What's the [...] of computer aided research.
[838] So many results are being produced, that there is neither time, nor money to follow them up.
[839] Can you think of any way, by which vital results could be identified and used, and I think it's a very difficult question, that one.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [840] Just of [...] isn't it.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [841] Possibly because of computer aided research, so many results are being produced, that there is neither time nor money to follow them up.
[842] Can you think of any way in which vital results could be identified and used.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Colin (PS48P) [843] The the difficulty is knowing what is going to be useful in the future.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [844] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [845] Well, they can't look, they don't [...] but what [...] according to and therefore they have to throw a high percentage of the results,
Colin (PS48P) [846] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [847] out, and work for [...] is used or can be used [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [848] [...] what just like that. [laugh]
Colin (PS48P) [849] Yes, yes, yes.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [850] But then again, er, for people like us [...] difficulties given [...]
Colin (PS48P) [851] I think, yes, yes, yes, I think, I'm, I think that that that that is one, it's it's last one, that probably has erm, defeated us.
[852] Were were not able to make very much comment.
[853] So I I I'm going switch off this this recording, you see, erm, for our Monday afternoon session.
Unknown speaker (JK1PSUNK) [854] Thank you, dear .