Prelim Development of Research Topic

The debate between science and faith: evolution/creationism, the “God particle” etc

Science and faith always appear to knock their heads against each other.  Science uses facts and data, while faith relies on belief.  Take for example, the solar system.  At one point, it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, not the Sun (Heliocentrism).  Just as England proposed a separation between church and state, science often challenges faith.


Many ideas of science are what have driven society forward.  Science is proof, evidence of the theoretical.   On the other hand, faith relies on people and a united belief.  Hard evidence is not necessary for belief, and when science and faith become mixed, the result is messy.  What science believes, and what faith believes are two different things.  Another example would be how alchemists appeared to use “magic” when in fact they were using science in an attempt to turn lead into gold.

Sources I would consult would be textual and online sources, citing texts such as Darwin’s theory of evolution and how it was accepted by the scientific community and religious communities.

Militarizing science and education – spies, engineers and code breakers

During WWII, it was the radar that helped the British intercept a planned German invasion from France, known as Operation Sealion.  Without scientists, and the militarization of science, the UK could have easily been invaded by Germany and the outcome of the war would have been very different.  Wars are not won by men alone.  It is advanced by science and which side has the upper hand in order to prevent potential threats from happening.

So, how much is too much?  When does spying become ‘creepy’?  There are many benefits to spying, such as intercepting potential threats, but it can also be an invasion of privacy to the public.  Spying on the public is a growing concern, especially after leaks by Edward Snowden.  The public is becoming increasingly where of government spying, making science become a burden.  Militarizing science has its pros and cons, but when do the cons outweigh the pros?

The types of sources I would consult would be documentations of how spying has developed and changed over the years, in addition to interviews and other online resources.


A Walk Around the Block

It seems easy to forget how old a university can be.  There are the building, of course, some look newer, others more modern.  Walking around campus, as I have done so many times before, I photographed first the place my mom pointed out to me a few years ago.  They mark the building section’s date of completion (1934).  On Suzzallo, the establishment date is stamped behind a pillar.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Every day, we go to class, but there are little signs of the past that have made the campus what it is today.  My route took me from the Quad to Drumheller Fountain and back, passing through Red Square on both occasions.

Annotated Map of Walk Locations

The first set of photos I took around noon.  It seems almost strange that Red Square and the Quad are only a few feet apart.  Tree roots make the brick path to Red Square uneven.  Many of the paths crisscross with a main pathway going straight down the middle, from the music and art buildings to the heart of the campus.  Both Red Square and the Quad give a different sense of space.  The Quad is peaceful, whereas Red Square is surrounded by domineering buildings of cement and stone, seemingly towering over people.  In contrast, the buildings lining the Quad have plants scaling their walls and the sounds of twittering can be heard.  Of every place on campus, the Quad is the greenest and most family friendly.  It’s not just used by frisbee playing college students, but families and other students lounging on the grass.

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On my way to the fountain, which is a constant reminder of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, beneath where the cement was cracking, I spotted what looked like stone.  Perhaps this was done to make walking easier, as most of the campus is either paved with cement or bricks.  I will also add that a number of students choose to ride bikes, scooter, skateboards, etc. to get to class, so bricks and cement seem like much better surfaces to travel over.  Environmentally, it is probably bad for irrigation.  The bricks in in Red Square are meant to keep water from dripping down into the underground parking lot–it does, however, make for a very slick surface when it rains.  In Red Square, every brick and building is purposeful and not out of place, unlike the Quad where there are gaps between bricks or even missing bricks.  Red Square gives off a more academic feel with Kane squished between Odegaard and Suzzallo–which serve as the center of campus–, while the Quad is relaxing and laid back.

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At noon, Red Square was much busier than by almost 3 pm.  Nonetheless, there are tents set up for clubs and the Greek system.  Occasionally, there are the occasional tours, as seen in the above photo where it seems there is a large group of people next to Odegaard.  What I found most surprising about my walk was how different each building is.  Paccar and Denny provide a stark contrast to each other, seeing as Denny is one of the oldest–if not the oldest–building on campus, and Paccar is amongst the newest.  Walking around campus, from the top of the Quad and from the stairs of Suzzallo, it is hard not to take in how open this university is.  In a way, it is easy to forget how close to urban life UW is, because each building transports people to different time periods and feels like a closed environment.

Throughout my walk, it seemed as though there lacked a clear reference to Pacific Northwest heritage other than the Burke Museum.  Inside Guggenheim Hall, there is an amazing totem pole-esque carving mounted on the wall that greets visitors as they enter the building.  Nonetheless, there is a large respect for the environment, because even with helicopters, planes and other mechanical noises going about, birds can still be heard quite loudly.  There is also a clear view of Mount Rainier, and a view of the Sound as the statue of George Washington looks west.  Even within a closed environment, there is a connection with nature (dually note the Duckling Ramp in the Drumheller Fountain) and city life towards the west side of campus.

Media in the UK

Tabloids & Broadsheets

The three most popular daily papers in the UK are all tabloids (The Sun, The Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror), all of which have more than a million papers in circulation.  In comparison, the most popular broadsheets (the Daily Telegraph and the Times) have a much lower circulation.  Tabloids have become increasingly popular in comparison to broadsheets because a reliable and trustworthy news network already exists (BBC and other broadcasting networks).  As a result, ordinary people no longer need broadsheets for basic news and contribute to the pervasiveness of tabloids throughout the UK.  Additionally, broadsheets are aimed at middle class people and tabloids at the working class.  According to a 2007 survey by the BBC, 57% of adults in the UK identify themselves with the working class.  Many broadsheets are also available online, so there is less demand for a physical broadsheet.  Often times, a broadsheet will switch to a tabloid due to several reasons such as tabloids are more popular than broadsheets, and are also smaller in size.

BBC (Radio, TV & World Service)

Radio usage is pervasive throughout the UK.  According to RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research), which collects radio audience data.  According to their surveys 91% of the population listen to the radio on a weekly basis.  Of that 91%, 68% tune into BBC radio.  The national radio alone has approximately 33.1 million weekly listeners.  BBC is also a well-known news platform since it launched its world service platform in 1932 and proved itself to provide quality and reliable news to the public.  In 2005 – 2006, BBC network television and radio for news and weather averaged to approximately 619 hours for week, just showing how large-scale the network is.  This is also a testament to how many people rely and trust the network because of the quality of its information.  Its television network is also home to many popular shows including: The Graham Norton Show, Doctor Who, Sherlock and The Musketeers.  Overall, the BBC has an incredible impact on media in the UK as it serves many different uses from news to entertainment and music.  In doing so, the network has broadened its audience and proved itself essentially to daily life.

Commercial TV

The top three television networks in the UK are BBC, ITV and Channel 4–BBC being the most widespread of the three.  In 1954, the Television Act permitted the first commercial television network in Britain, ITV.  For a long time, BBC was largely limited to the London area and the act enabled television to spread throughout the UK. Many of the shows popular in the UK are soap operas, and others that as just as popular in the US (such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones).  Commercial television is rather confusing in the UK.  Most of it is monopolized by BBC and ITV (which account for more than 50% of television in the UK).  Of the three, ITV and Channel 4 are both commercial.  Here is a rather long video about media in the UK:

Social Media

With such a high percentage of the population living online, it’s easy to understand why there has been less demand for broadsheets.  Information can now be found faster and more readily on the internet, increasing the popularity of tabloids.  Media in the UK is largely changing and adapting to the newer, technologically advanced generation.

References (under the cut)