Two themes that seemed to continue to show up in the Field/Action Research were the importance of secondary research and ethics. The talk mostly explored instances of primary research where students were interacting with subjects to gather information. However, all the Professors emphasized the importance of doing secondary research as well if not before primary research. I know Professor Searles spoke in detail about the importance of ethics. Ethics is the basis of every research project. There has to be a certain level of trust between a subject being interviewed and the people interviewing. If this ethical code is not formulated, there is no real basis for a relationship. This especially rang true for the adult entertainment shop project that Professor Searles spoke about.
While Professors Kim, Orsborn and Searles all had interesting things to say, I think Professor Searles made the lasting impression on me. He spoke about a project that he was advising in which students investigated the large number of adult entertainment stores along route 15. The owner of one of the stores gave the students consent to interview him about different aspects of the store. He said that when the students finally went into the store to interview the owner, the students received some unexpected data. The storeowner said that it was mostly women that frequented that particular store. This data was completely unexpected for the students and changed the entire project. However, Professor Searles main point was that any sort of data is important and that there is no such thing as bad data.
When I first got to the Field/Action research I was impressed by the amount of students that were in attendance. I think most of the students that were in attendance attended every one of the talks. As a side note, I think it would be interesting to have these types of talks more often and publicized. There are many people on campus who have done some very interesting things and this might be a way to share those experiences. Most people on campus grab lunch quickly or eat with their friends. If once a week there were a talk over lunch between students and faculty about some sort of issue or topic, I think some really cool things could come out of it.