VOS Reflection

The Value of Science project required searching for two texts (one we should find and another one from the class readings) and choose a value of science they both communicate.
The social-economic value of science appealed to us, and we decided it would be interesting to discuss it. In fact, conflict is inevitable when it comes to the purpose of science. Is science’s aim to help our lives by conducting researches and hence helping us socially? Or is it used profit-oriented, by developing technologies, industries and productivity?
While opinions on this matter diverge, it is certain that the solution must be somehow balanced. There has to be someone deciding and allocating budgets, choosing how much should go to fund scientific research that benefits the public and how much should be used to stimulate economy. In other words, policymaking.
Thus, the political aspect of the issue was an important factor in determining the choice of the genre. In fact, along with the political aspect, the idea of a debate was relevant since we wanted to explore different opinions and point of views: what better than a debate to confront opposing sides? Finally, the presidential elections going on featuring two relevant candidates, reaffirmed that the idea of a debate was definitely a good genre to compose in.
After choosing the genre, the second part was choosing the two texts, analyzing them individually, comparing them and making the argument. We thought of climate change as a great example that demonstrates the conflictual aspect of both values. Climate change is the result of the relentless research of profit (economic use of science) and its consequences actually threaten our lives (social value of science). Hence, simulating a debate in a climate change framework would make the argument really strong rhetorically and appealing and to the general public.
We then started browsing for texts and we found out that, on the one hand, Cunningham’s comic was relevant since it discussed climate change. In fact, this text provides many examples and evidences, and clearly illustrates the work of corps trying to use science for their own profit (fracking, industry…). The document exposes the consequences (melting of glaciers…) and denounces the political bias.
On the other hand, we picked Bill Nye’s ‘Climate change 101’ video since this one is a trustworthy source that displays facts as they are very objectively. We chose this text because of its subject and because it states that climate change really exists, is threatening, and that we should take action and maybe let go the economic value of science.
The next steps were writing the script, filming and editing.
This project was my second as a group at Georgia Tech and I can honestly say that I am satisfied with this experience. It is the second time I work with Connor and Joonas and this is working well. For instance, everyone devoted himself to the project and this let us move forward really fast. Moreover, organization was an important factor in the success of our project. As a group, we met since day one and set a plan and divided the tasks. We immediately described our strategy and our target to started working effectively. We met 3 times to synthetize our work and met again on Tuesday night to rehearse for the presentation. The good thing about working with the same group was that we knew the strength of each one and we knew that we are all ambitious people. The first project being a success, we wanted to work together again.
On a personal note, this project helped me a lot in various ways. Last time, I didn’t work a lot on the writing but rather on the rhetorical choices and analysis. This time, since we were a smaller group, each one had more responsibilities. Having lots of ideas, I thought that writing the script outline and first draft was good since I would write everything I have in mind instead of communicating it to someone else and making him write it – this would be a waste of time. And someone would reread and correct after me. Thus, this project was an important practice for my writing skills which aren’t that bad after all. In fact, being corrected by another person made me notice where my strengths and weaknesses were. I also had to use my other skills, which are analysis, organization and creativity. Indeed, my main contribution was setting up the rhetorical strategy again and coming up with ideas for the script.
All in all, this project was for me a real chance to outline my writing skills along with interpretation, analysis, design, and creativity. Also, looking at my teammates work and trying to help them taught me a lot: for instance, seeing how Connor edits video actually taught me new tricks about editing. Furthermore, this project made me discover new resources available for us students on campus and especially the multimedia studio which is an amazing place to create professional audio-visual projects (graphic design software, video recording room, sound recording systems…).
As a group, I am proud to say we succeeded in our work: everyone always did what they had to. Nevertheless, the main challenge we faced was scheduling meeting hours and finding a female actress, as everyone has a busy schedule: finding hours and meeting rooms was nerve-wreaking. Yet, thanks to technology and social media, we were able to communicate and move forward without meeting physically: we had a group me where we shared our timeline and discussions. We created a drive accessible to each one to upload the material on and we designed Google docs as well.
Finally, possible enhancements could’ve been more advanced effects in the editing. As a group, we came up with new ideas every day, but unfortunately we had to select the most important ones because of the time constraint. Also, the camera we wanted and the green screen weren’t available by the time we wanted to film, making it harder to design special effects.