User:Evarenon/sandbox/Approaches to Knowledge/Seminar Group 3/Super-drafts

Individual super concepts essay drafts

Research question: How is complexity applied within urban development and planning to aid with overpopulation, as well as encode sustainable practices within a city? (Camilla)

Research question: How complexity is applied to trust, as a social and psychological phenomenon, in the context of the food industry and lobbying (Camille)

Argument: One factor of trust is destroyed: whole complex system is destroyed - truth about lobbying, about the industry…

Counter argument: Relying on another type of trust can save the overall trust (generalized trust over system trust) - fear of ostracism

Counter-counter argument: Cognitive dissonance can be the core motive to continue to purchase certain foods - even if there is no longer trust (huge topic in the food industry)

Research Question: How has fiction inspired research and how is it used to communicate the findings of researchers in biology? (Maeve)

Argument: Fiction has inspired research topics in certain areas of biology and there is a system of using fiction to educate, build trust and receive support from the public.

Para 1: Fiction in the form of local myths have proved inspirational to researchers in solving geological problems.

Example: Noah's flood story has for centuries demanded a scientific explanation. People have long sought to tie The Flood to a specific event and location and a plausible explanation, based on sound scientific research, has been proposed by Ryan & Pitman.  (Vitaliano, 2007)

Para 2: Researchers described the effectiveness of popular science fiction in capturing the imagination of the public as they depend on grants for their work and the higher the public visibility, the more likely they are to receive a grant (Rose, 2003).

Counter claim: An unclear boundary between real science and science in the public imagination is problematic for research success as fiction creates unrealistic portrayals of science and scientists (Menadue and Cheer, 2017). Most literary critics are not trained scientists and might therefore lack an informed and balanced understanding of science (Flohr, n.d.).

Para 3: Fiction as a tool to communicate research with non-experts can build trust between scientists and the general public because audiences appreciate information being packaged in an easier format to comprehend.

Counterclaim: Narratives decrease trust because they are seen as overly sensational or manipulative. Climate change is a topical context where conflicting narratives are present and the link between knowledge and concern about climate change was found to depend upon levels of trust in scientists (Dahlstrom, 2014).

Para 4: The use of science fiction is effective as an aid to learning and teaching.

Example: Using science fiction to teach evolutionary biology has many benefits. For example it provides an engaging medium for exploring difficult and abstract concepts and it can introduce scientific thinking (application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation) by helping students solidify their knowledge (Bixler, 2007).


Bixler, A. (2007). Teaching Evolution with the Aid of Science Fiction. The American Biology Teacher, 69(6), pp.337-340.

Dahlstrom, M. (2014). Using narratives and storytelling to communicate science with nonexpert audiences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(Supplement_4), pp.13614-13620.

Flohr, B. (n.d.). The Relationship between Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century. A Discussion of an Interdisciplinary Approach. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].

Menadue, C. and Cheer, K. (2017). Human Culture and Science Fiction: A Review of the Literature, 1980-2016. SAGE Open, 7(3), p.215824401772369.

Rose, S. (2003). How to (or not to) communicate science. Biochemical Society Transactions, 31(2), pp.307-312.

Vitaliano, D. (2007). Geomythology: geological origins of myths and legends. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 273(1), pp.1-7.

Research Question: Fiction and Art: to what extent can fiction be applied to the curation of art and what are the wider implications of this fictionalisation? (Laura) Main argument: The concept of fiction can be applied to the discipline of art in respect to the curation of art exhibitions. The fictionalisation of the art collection, often through digitalisation and modern media, can impact the way we experience and interpret art.

Research Question: To what extent is the application of the concept of entropy useful in economic modelling and policy-making? (Emilie)

Argument: Entropy of matter and energy is a concept that is highly applicable to economics, particularly with regards to production processes, and acts as the ultimate source of scarcity, and thus must be applied to economic models.

Counter-Argument: If entropy, being a source of scarcity, determines the usefulness/value of matter and energy, it is already taken into account by traditional supply and demand theory by being reflected firms' production costs.

Counter-Counter Argument: Although sustainability is collectively valued, its value is often not reflected in individual consumers' choices, as the relative scarcity of goods, which affects which goods a consumer will purchase, is not equivalent to absolute scarcity, and thus market efficiency is not equivalent to environmental efficiency. Therefore, economic models and policies must be adjusted to take environmental sustainability into account.

Research Question: How has the romanticised natural entropy of Architecture shifted the process of new architectural development? (Lily)

Argument: Literature and touristic attraction has romanticised ruins in Architecture, the structures holding a whole new meaning to their original purpose. Natural entropy should be planned and envisioned when building new infrastructure in our metropolitans.

Research Question: to what extent can entropy be used to explain the progression of western (fictional) literature over time? (eesha)

argument: entropy is applicable to how literature through the concept of order/disorder, and is shown by the consistent move away from traditional structures

counter-argument: changes in style to be less clearly structured/traditional (i.e. postmodern literature) are reflective of social change, making entropy applicable to society as a whole

counter-counter-argument: even so, acknowledging that literature is written in the context of the writers time, looking at the progression of fiction over time shows a clear move away from the expected order into the more unconventional, both in terms of content and in terms of style.

Fiction and modern society issues: How does Kafka's fictional character of Joseph K links with the murder of Mireille Knoll?

Main argument: Despite being a complex character with many interpretations, Joseph K links with Mireille Knoll as they are both symbolic victims of antisemitism, an aspect that allows us to make an analogy between K's fictional World and our modern society.

Argument: Joseph K and Mireille Knoll are both symbolic victims of antisemitism, one fictional, one in real life

Counter-argument: However Joseph K is a complex fictional character and he can't be restrained to a symbol of antisemitism

Counter-counter-argument: Nether the less through fiction Kafka depicted a World that reflects our modern society and if some aspects of K doesn't fit Knoll they can be linked with the context of her assassination.

Fiction and psychology: What does Proust's fictional music partition Vinteuil's Sonata in Swann's way, the first volume of In Search of Lost Time, reveals us about the psychological link between our personal experience and our musical tastes?

Main argument: Vinteuil's sonata in Proust's work shows how our taste for a music is not only influence by our real life experiments but also can make this music special to us due to the psychological associations our mind makes.

Argument: A link does exist as Swann's appreciation of Vinteuil's Sonata is linked to his love for Odette.

Counter-argument: However he already liked this sonata before knowing Odette and a lot of different psychological factors can influence our musical taste

Counter-counter-argument: Nether the less this sonata is so special for Swann thanks to all the psychological associations his personal experiments made with it

Systems and international development: How do systems help to stop the negative impacts of international aid (main example: the issues of sexual harassment from volunteers, but felt that this would be to narrow). Jordan

Research Question:: To what extend does complexity apply to finance (LI)

Main argument: It would use the characteristics of financial market, stock market and investors’ psychological behavior to illustrate the complexity in finance.

Supporting ideas: Complex system is actuated by individual behaviors. The subsystems exert an influence on financial market of distinct degree but none of which could be viewed as the decisive power.

Counter argument: Nevertheless, effect of the influencing factor, even not the decisive one, should not be underestimated at all. Any crash in one specific subsystem could pose a severe threat on financial system, bring about financial crisis to other subsystems.