So far, my posts to Drugs, Internet, Society have focused on drug-related issues I find interesting and important. I also want to write about the research process. This is the first of a series of posts more orientated towards process than content.
Why bother discussing process? Because how we come to know something is as important as what we claim to know (perhaps more important). The validity of a person’s knowledge claim is difficult to assess without understanding the argument or the methods used by that person to arrive at their conclusions.
While this may seem obvious, people accept knowledge claims everyday without having access to the process that informed those claims. We may be trusting an expert, we may not have access to the processes behind the claim, we may not have the expertise to critique those processes and/or we may not have the time to do so.
Drug policy discussions in the public sphere are an area fraught with knowledge claims that require critical analysis. It is therefore important for you, as readers of this blog, to read about at least some of the processes I participate in when I ‘do research’.* This is the aim of the ‘process’ category of posts that I’ve just started today.
* These posts are, of course, my own account and reflection upon research processes. This is a discourse in itself that cannot provide an unbiased account (or mirror) of my research.