Permaculture research is LIVE!

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by Rafter, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Rafter

    Rafter Junior Member

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  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I wasn't 100% sure about letting this in through the moderation net - but the website looks genuine. If any of you encounter any issues doing the survey please feed back to a Moderator.
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    An introduction would have been nice. But as there isn't one I'm disinclined to visit the site.
     
  4. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    From HeenanDoherty on Facebook:

    Great survey that covers some good ground
     
  5. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    The test is biased and questionable. At 1 point it asked "23. Do you participate in any (non-permaculture) social movements or activism? If so, what are they?" which I find extremely personal / risky for many people. Last but not least, if it didn't like the an answer it brought the questions back up with "Please enter a positive number" In bold red print at the top of the page
     
  6. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Sponsored by a person employed by the Department of Crop Science who are into genetically modifying crops. HHHHmmmmm.
     
  7. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    About Rafter

     
  8. Rafter

    Rafter Junior Member

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    Hi folks!

    My apologies for not introducing myself earlier. I support everybody doing quality control and keeping an eye out for corporate hacks. Thanks to matto for going the extra mile and finding my gold star from Darren, and the bio on my website.

    A couple notes about my life in permaculture and related stuff, for anyone who is interested:
    2003 - PDC with Peter Bane and Gustavo Ramirez at Gaia Ecovillage in Argentina. Apprenticed with Peter Bane at Earthaven Ecovillage for 4 months immediately thereafter.
    2005 - Started developing the Liberation Ecology workshop curriculum to bridge some of the concepts in permaculture and social justice thinking.
    2007 - Student/guest taught with Geoff Lawton and Ethan Roland at Green Phoenix PDC in High Falls. Started developing the Mycoscaping workshop curriculum to integrate permaculture thinking and mushroom production thinking.
    2008 - Begin a graduate program in Agroecology and Ecological Design with John Todd (among others) at University of Vermont.
    2009 - Started teaching an annual PDC with Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. Design work (collab with Ethan Roland) appears in Lee Reich's Landscaping With Fruit as the example of permaculture design.
    2010 - Design the integrated mushroom production enterprise for Growing Power in Milwaukee. Train new staff - to be trainers and to continue to refine and develop the system further - and a few hundred workshop participants along the way. Finish my MS in Agroecology. Start a PhD in the Multifunctional Landscape Analysis and Design Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under Sarah Lovell.
    2011 - Getting tired of the deafening silence about permaculture from the scientific community, develop a dissertation project on permaculture itself.
    2012 - Begin research.
     
  9. Rafter

    Rafter Junior Member

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    Hey Purecajn. Thanks for giving it a shot. As it says on the info sheet, every question should be regarded as totally voluntary. Anyone that feels uncomfortable with any question should definitely not answer it! That being said, all the responses are totally confidential, and the raw data will not be shared with anyone. Any publication will only include aggregate data (like averaged responses, or percentages of response types), within which it will be impossible identify any individual.

    And to clarify - any question can be skipped (except the initial "Did you read the consent form?" question). For a few questions, only a positive number makes any sense, so the respondent has to either enter a positive number or skip the question. Sorry about that aggressive red font!
     
  10. Rafter

    Rafter Junior Member

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    Hi Annette,

    It's true, I'm working in the very belly of the beast. There is a ton of Monsanto research going on at this university. We are in the middle of the corn desert. That being said, the university is pretty huge place (55,000 students), and it's not all the same. You can find some amazing work being done as well. If you want to check out who I'm working directly with, my dissertation committee is these folks:
    Sarah Lovell (Primary advisor)
    Ashwini Chhatre
    Michelle Wander
    Tom Bassett

    They are all awesome and I feel incredibly lucky to be working with them.
    Let me know if you have any more questions about the institution or my place in it!
     
  11. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Hi Rafter

    I wasn't asking any questions just making an observation about who is sponsoring the research. Having said that, I'm sure there are valuable things being researched and progressed in regards to alternative ways of producing food and making connections.

    Here are some questions. Are the results of the survey available to those involved in the Monsanto research at the University? If so, how will they be used? Who owns the intellectual property produced by the survey? Can others use this research data? Are the results of the survey only for understanding the movement or are the indicators of trend highlighted by the survey going to be used for a commercial purpose? Will a public report be available analysing the results of the survey?

    Thanks
    Annette
     
  12. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

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    Right questions Annette, I am wandering too
     
  13. Rafter

    Rafter Junior Member

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    Where is the research goign?

    Great questions!

    Code:
    Are the results of the survey available to those involved in the Monsanto research at the University? If so, how will they be used?
    Until I publish any peer-reviewed research based on the survey data, I have sole access to the data. After that time, if someone requests the raw data about which I'm making any claims (i.e. the specific data I'm using, not the whole mass), then it is standard practice to share that data with the specific reviewer, with all potentially identifying information is stripped out (i.e. email addresses, etc.). Information that by it's nature will compromise the confidentiality of respondents (e.g. if you are the only permaculture orchardist in your state) can't be shared without the express permission of the respondent.

    I have almost zero contact with the folks doing Monsanto research. It's worth noting that these scientists are, by and large, good people who think they are doing the right thing. They are wrong, but they aren't evil in the way that I suspect that the executives running the show are functionally evil. My general impression is one of friendly but profound mutual disinterest.

    I am the sole owner of the intellectual property produced by my research. No one else can use the data I'm collecting.

    The outputs of my dissertation will include 3-5 peer-reviewed journal articles, which I will make accessible to anyone with internet access, either by publishing in an open-access journal, or circulating as a pre-print. There will also be ample write-ups for a popular audience — i.e us, the movement. You can see a very early example of that second category here.

    If I understand you correctly, the research is not being put to any commercial purpose. It's not being done for any commercial interest, no business has any access to the data, no special reports will be targeted for business.

    I appreciate your questions. I share your concern with the potential for infiltration or co-optation of permaculture. These are real dangers, and I think one of our central challenges as a movement is to chart a path out of the margins and into mainstream public life, without loosing the power and subversiveness that makes permaculture so valuable at this moment in history.
     
  14. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

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    As stated in my avatar. You should have lot of credit for someone paranoid as I am, and I could not understand you even remotely seriously as benign naive.

    I am pist off .. monsanto entered Croatia on the front door.
     
  15. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Thanks for answering my questions Rafter. I do have a concern that certain interested groups will attempt to use the information for other than ultruistic purposes. Knowledge is power. I have been involved in research projects that seemingly were for a particular purpose only to see those who wield the decision making power use that information for purposes other than what was stated. Those doing the research had no idea that this was going to happen. That is why it is so important to uncover who is sponsoring research and why they are fronting up the money to fund it. There ain't no free lunch.

    In some circles, I am sure, permaculture could be seen as a threat to big ag and any information gleaned about those who practise it and where, would be information worth having. If the survey has enough respondents, the information could be extrapolated out to make some fairly accurate assumptions. Those in whose interest it is to curtail permacultural activities would be in a position to prepare a "plan of attack" for want of a better phrase.

    In the case or your research, my concerns may be purely hypothetical. I'm glad you are sensitive to the dangers that lurk in the world of corporate deception and seem to be on guard against it.

    If your research furthers the aims and ethics of permaculture, then I hope it all goes well and adds vital information to enhance the uptake of it in mainstream culture. Good luck and look forward to reading the results.

    Cheers
    Annette
     
  16. Rafter

    Rafter Junior Member

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    @Annette: Again, I appreciate your questions very much. You are certainly not the only person who holds them - so I rely on those who are willing to give voice to them. Thanks.

    @Dzionik: I should be clear that I support working on many different fronts to subvert and replace industrial capitalism and petro-agriculture - by any means necessary. The front I am working on is to generate responsive, compelling science in support of alternative modes of production. We need every tool in the toolbox - including charismatic and spectacular direct action. I don't think your stance on Monsanto is misplaced.

    Be well!
     

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