Tag Archives: research

Women’s health ≠ reproductive health

The 1997 text Women’s Health Research: A Medical and Policy Primerheralds women’s health research as a “new discipline” (p. 7), which I find both frightening and fascinating. Some diseases (osteoporosis, various thyroid conditions, affective disorders, just for a few examples) affect women in greater numbers than men, but studies do not reflect this. This is largely because women’s health has historically been conflated with reproductive health—as though the only part of a woman that is different from a man or important at all is her reproductive system. This conflation is both maddening and difficult to advocate against (for fear of diminishing the real importance of women’s reproductive health).

However, Paula Johnson does a decent job:

Click here to view this talk on TED’s page: http://www.ted.com/talks/paula_johnson_his_and_hers_healthcare

Further food for thought: Johnson and Fee (contributors to Women’s Health Research) point out that “Women have been excluded from health research for decades” despite policy statements that attempt to remedy this (p. 3). One reason women have been left out of research studies because of “researchers’ desire for homogeneous study populations … Women’s cyclical hormonal changes were thought to confound research results” (p. 14).

Haseltine, Florence, Lynne Beauregard, & Beverly Jacobson. (1997). Women’s Health Research: A Medical and Policy Primer. Washington, DC: Health International.


Digital Activism & Social Justice

From the Guest Editors of a recent special issue of Harlot:

“As Angela Haas has argued, the concept of digital refers as much to the work of the human hand as it does binary code. Even when digital tools enable activists to collaborate across great distances, the body remains a powerful force in the activist scene. After all, we must remember that the web is not and has not ever been a democratic, egalitarian space; power inequalities of sexuality, race, class, gender, ability, and nation persist—and are often reinforced—in online spaces.”

“[T]he body is one of the most important activist media that we have.”

Read the guest editors’ introduction to the special issue.

Making science less wrong

The National Institutes of Health have recently come out with a statement saying that too many scientific articles relate experiments that are not reproducible. As Forbes puts it, the NIH is now seeking to “make scientific studies less wrong.”

To do this, the NIH is focusing on beefing up the requirements for research design, reviewing/enforcing solid design, paying attention to the history of a project, and emphasizing being able to replicate results. None of these tasks sound ground-breaking to me, but re-focusing is often a smart move. I rather like the NIH’s apparent dedication to community responsibility here, and I hope that some of this attention to research design and history might consider perspectives/designs/ideas that traditional scientific approaches tend to ignore. (Ever read about how patents get granted and to whom? Lots of good stuff there.) Read the whole Nature article here: http://www.nature.com/news/policy-nih-plans-to-enhance-reproducibility-1.14586

Games for Change

This is a link to Arizona State’s TeachOnline site about the 2012 Games for Change Conference. I am especially interested in the James Paul Gee talk on “Big G” games. (Partly because it’s a fascinating study on the “popular” uptake of theory.)

So Many Trajectories for Study …

Some time ago, I talked about assigning a project in my rhetoric class that required students to look at historical figures in the field of rhetoric and to construct some sort of timeline (or anti-timeline, to resist chronological ordering) showing which figures they believe are most important to survey-of-rhetoric type endeavors and what the relationships between those figures are. This came after we read several historiographic pieces (especially focusing on Aspasia), so students were purposefully engaging in historiography in this project.

They came up with some really awesome stuff.   Continue reading