Sunday, 30 November 2008

Redbrick Science 7 & 8

THE final two parts of the Redbrick series under my supervision. The series was continued the following year, after I had left Birmingham, by Hannah Murfet, although sadly the section no longer exists. Part 7 is written by my good friend Owen Cain.
First published May 11th, 2007.

The Redbrick section took up a lot of my time in my final year, as I had to organize others to write, and up until their submission I had no real idea how it would all fit together or what the standard of the content would be. Despite lots of initial interest, the problems with relying on busy students, the uncertainty of which issue I would be allowed to publish in, and the need to print a wide variety of topics meant that possibilities were exhausted very quickly. Thus, when I suddenly had one more page to fill at the end of the year, straight after my final year exams, it fell to me to find something good, different and big to send off the series. We decided that I should investigate the use of animals in research with a local perspective.

What followed was a highly stressful experience. The further I delved, the harder it got. The university's legal department insisted on pre-approving the article, although weren't overly happy with my need for them to do so with only 24 hours notice. Redbrick were on standby to pull the plug on the article if I couldn't produce it in time. I interviewed two university researchers, neither of whom I could name and only one of whom I could write about what they had told me. The legal department finally got back to me, and changed only one sentence in my now highly watered-down article. Obviously, I cannot tell you which one.

So, here is the final part of the series, which I rather nervously publish here.

First published June 8th, 2007.

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