Apparently the Vice President for Research at my university needs some help on identifying what research is. Just a few things that could be examples of research topics:

  • examining the impact casino gaming can have on bankruptcy in a regional area
  • studying the effects of a particular literacy intervention on English-language learners
  • determining the impacts of a parent training workshop to utilize positive reinforcement to address food sensitivities in children with autism
  • examining what personal adornment items can tell us about a person's culture or a historical era

Now, granted, these don't make for catchy photo ops. But when you are making a glossy brochure to promote the research agenda of the university and the photos you choose are of a guy in a lab coat, and a guy by a laser, and a guy in the field with a rock and a chisel, and a guy by an earthquake shake table and a guy ... well, you get the idea. As one of my female colleagues said when she overhead me complaining about it, "Well, we're making progress ... at least they weren't all old white guys. There was an Asian guy, a Latino guy, a young White guy, a Black guy ..."

Props for the progress there, Research peeps.

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Let's try for a tad more gender diversity. College diversity. Research diversity. Research is more than the hard sciences, okay? It's a big university with a lot of us doing big thinking stuff. (Thankfully, the materials aren't moving forward because there are problems besides just the choice of photos - although I'm hoping now that will be corrected as well)