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January 6, 2010
Public Lecture: The Fallacy of Misplaced Objectivity in Social Science Research: A Logical, Theoretical, and Empirical Exposition, Baku, Azerbaijan, December 7, 2009 - Dr. Appa Rao Korukonda

Subjectivity is often treated as an issue to be resolved rather than as an inevitable component of operationalization of constructs and testing of hypotheses. In this presentation, it is argued that this preoccupation with objectivity and its associated perception of rigor has often led to the widespread advocacy of seemingly robust refinements of existing theoretical formulations as well as the deployment of quantitative techniques for construct validation, data collection and analysis.

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December 28, 2009
Public Lecture: Enhancing the Impact of Research on Policy making, Baku, Azerbaijan, December 3, 2009 - Dr. Ann Marie Gray (ENG)

While public policy aims to resolve social issues such as poverty, welfare and care provision, social exclusion and crime, often the full value of social science research into these and other social issues has not been properly recognized by policy makers. This presentation will consider the challenges facing the academic and research community of providing better evidence for policy makers. It will look at what kind of evidence governments and policy makers need and at how best to get governments to use research evidence. There will be some discussion of the tensions and contradictions that can occur as politicians attempt to balance "research evidence" with ideological influences and public and media perceptions.

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