BIOL368/F16:Class Journal Week 7

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Contents

Colin Wikholm

After the panel discussion, but before the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • I was unable to attend the panel and so can only answer questions from the readings.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • I was unable to attend the panel and so can only answer questions from the readings.

After you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • There were two topics that I found most interesting in the readings. The first was that Google is not a subjective search engine, and does not function to give results based purely on relevance or popularity. Rather, Google prioritizes search results with a commercial motive. Before doing the readings, I thought that racism or sexism in search engines resulted from the racial or sexual tendencies of the people doing the searches. Instead, I was extremely surprised to learn that these trends actually exist because they benefit Google. The second topic that I found most interesting was that medicine actually has a history of identifying and emphasizing race (and not just medicine from decades ago!). Because medicine if such a scientific field, I would have figured it would have long ago acknowledged that race is a social construct. At the very least, I would have thought that medicine would look at race for a purely social science standpoint in order to provide the best patient care. This is surprisingly not true.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how are they related to the panel discussion?
    • Each of these readings relates to informatics. That is, they all deal with the collection, storage, and dissemination/sharing of information. Although one focuses on bioinformatics (and biomedicine), the seconds on medicine, and the third on search engines, they all seek to elucidate knowledge about how we work with large amounts of data. Moreover, each of these articles suggests that various fields of informatics is, as stated explicitly by Bodenreider and Stevens (2006), "amenable." This field can and is affected by a variety of (often biased) influences. The way we work with data can affect people on a grand scale, and so it is important that we question those things we may otherwise take for granted. Whether it's medical files or unbiased search results, we should be aware of the way we work with information and strive to understand and improve current standards.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • After doing the reading, I will ensure that, in my future career as a physician, I will stay aware of how information or data may or may not be objective. Whether it is patient data, epidemiology information from a database, or "facts" from a colleague, I will strive to understand how the issue may be misguided or subjective. For example, I hope to someday work with underserved populations in Southern California and Washington, DC. The information I am given from studies of these populations may be influenced by preconceived notions about these groups. I such instances, I will makes sure to understand such biases and account for them in my everyday work.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • How is the field of medical informatics notably different than in other fields utilizing data and large amounts of information? How does this speak to the biggest issues in medicine in the modern era?

Colin Wikholm 01:35, 18 October 2016 (EDT)

Will Fuchs

After the panel discussion

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • I have never been to a talk like that before in my entire life. So that was a rewarding experience in of itself. I never really took the time before to consider what criteria that go into the keywords I enter in a search engine. It’s disturbing to the sense that the search engine is only showing the results that IT wants me to see. I’ve come to blindly trust search engines in general to give me the information I’m looking for. For now on I’m going to take a closer look at the search results and think of deeper implications, especially when conducting some level of research.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • Well I’ve been hopeful for a year or so now to enter a graduate level program and seek higher education. It’s extremely relevant to my future, because the plethora of research and investigation I’m going to be a part of is going to come loaded because of search biases and the enigmas of the archive. I need to take special care that I seek out the truth befitting the honor of a scientist.

After the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • One of the things that came as a shock to me is the classification mess that is racial categorizations and ethnical separations in medical terminology. There were seemingly endless variations and permutations of the racial categories i.e. the difference between “black” and “black British” but that rhetoric is the driving differentiation terminology for medical indexing and medical research. As society progresses these terms evolve in addition to the people that these terms had originally set out to describe so it is an ongoing classification endeavor to provide the most pertinent and accurate information.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how do they related to the panel discussion?
    • Search engines are shaping the perspective of people based upon information results and a seemingly cursory searches online have many more implications underneath the first glances. More and more people are utilizing search engines to seek answers but who is providing those answers? Corporations are. In my opinion, especially in a digital age and the increased traffic online must be investigated such that the general public isn’t being fed the copious amounts of search engine biases. Not only in respect to the general public but in academia as well.
  1. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • From the panel discussion I will seek out answers not only online but from library references as well and to not take at first glance the articles initially presented as the best articles to satisfy my search. The organization of information online and the synthesis of online categorizations into the different niches of study will be an intricate yet invaluable use of time if I want the most unloaded/biased information.
  2. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • I have a guiding question that I didn’t get answered at the panel discussion. When we were talking about the underrepresentation of intersectionalism online: the example of “Black History” was searched and the top hit was a book written by a white male and everyone laughed. Where I could see the ironic humor of it, the validity of the information wasn’t discussed. Was it a racist article? Was it underrepresenting or sensationalizing information? What was wrong about it? Was the institution sponsoring the article incredulous? If I’m wrong to feel this way let me know; but don’t ridicule an article archiving an ethnic history because the skin color of the author doesn’t reflect the skin color of the people discussed.

William P Fuchs 19:24, 17 October 2016 (EDT)

Zach Goldstein

After Discussion Questions

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • An aspect of the discussion "From the Archive to Google" that I found particularly interesting was that the third panelist focused on black feminism, and specifically the results from searching "black girls" into Google. First off I found the results to be disturbing, but then I wen't on to try to understand why a search engine like Google puts porn on their front page. It might come down to money supplied by the sites to be featured, or the general commonness of porn today on the internet, but one thing I noticed was in the background of the search results titled "related searches" were images of shirtless cowboy men with the caption "beautiful men". I found it interesting that those images were so apparent, and related to her argument, but she chose not to include the male side of this issue. Feminism is supposed to mean equality, so why wouldn't she mention the same stereotypes in her discussion.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • The material talked about in the panel is relevant to my future plans in that, as a doctor, new research is being published all the time, and often new procedure methods claim to be better than previous ones. It is a reminder that it is important to keep a critical eye out when performing research or when presented with something "new" that is medically related. Always fact check and don't just trust things that come from a "good" source/archive.

After Reading Questions

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • One aspect of these readings that I found disturbing was the general notion of the lack of control the public has on how information is indexed across a variety of subject fields. Using general search engines it sounds like it is basically impossible to prevent biases, and these biases even exist in medical search realms, which have proven to be problematic when dealing with categorization of minority patients in medical classifications.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how do they related to the panel discussion?
    • The common thread between these articles and the discussion is the idea that there is a problem in how information is being indexed and archived and it is a problem that is commonly overlooked by the public. When people search for terms in google, or even MEDLINE they assume the information they are receiving is completely democratized but people need to understand all of the work that goes behind a search result; this can be done by reading articles like these and trying specific searches such as "black girls" on google to see just how bad the problem really is.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • I believe I will have a much more critical eye when performing any type of scholarly or general research. These papers and the discussion have opened my eyes to just how biased our world is and I will carry this idea forward with me into my future as a doctor.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • The third panelist discussed the potential creation of new search engines which produce completely unbiased results. Taking into consideration the capitalistic nature of the United States, do you ever thing such a database can/will be created? Is there a way to avoid the basic economic principle that people respond to incentives (such as money to be placed on the top of the list). Why or why not? Who might create such an archive.

Zachary T. Goldstein 01:09, 12 October 2016 (EDT)Zachary T. Goldstein

Matthew K. Oki

After the panel discussion

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • I found the first speaker's information to be interesting. He had a fairly unique perspective as a librarian in South Central Los Angeles. His talk was interesting because he brought up good points about how archives are built, and what can be detrimental about that. We shouldn't trust everything we see or hear as the complete story or a truthful story. I didn't find anything necessarily exciting, but a very disturbing part of the panel's talk was the third speaker. I had heard of google searches providing sexist or racist results, but I had never looked into it or heard more about it. It is very sad to see that our society is completely driven buy monetary values, and not what people actually need. It is fairly common for this type of money-first approach these days, but to even see it in our internet searches so heavily is unfortunate and disturbing.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • There are new technologies consistently being presented in the science profession fields. That said, not all of them are perfected or better than an old method. So, you can't always trust every new found technology that you hear released. In the medical fields, your methods impact people's livelihoods. You really have to look into it and make sure that they are going to work and improve your office.

After the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • I am very disturbed with the state of the search results on google. It is scary that they are so racist and sexist. I always figured that there wasn't a true randomness to google searches, but I didn't know it was so monetary based. It's very interesting to think at how many people use google as the ultimate search engine, and trust everything they read as fact. We need to raise awareness to how biased these searches are.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how do they related to the panel discussion?
    • The commonality between the readings and panelists was the issue with accurate, easily accessed information via search engines. The number of people using scientific databases and search engines in general is increasing at an incredible rate. That said, there is an attempt by the different fields in biology to come up with a universal understanding of certain terms. Databases are constantly increasing in popularity due to the ease of use, but many people (even in the medical fields) don't realize how impacted and biased these searches can be.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • I will definitely research and test any new technology before using them on my patients. Although it can be extremely useful and ground breaking, not all newfound things are the perfect instrument to use.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • I had one question for Dr. Noble. I noticed that her research and google searches were, at the most recent, from around 2012. She also mentioned that google put out a statement that they were trying to fix the "technical glitch" responsible for these racist/sexist results. Have there been any actual improvements by google in more recent years? Or are the search results still racist and sexist as ever? Furthermore, is there anything we can do as a society to improve these results and not aid it any more than we already have?

Avery Vernon-Moore

After the panel discussion

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • I thought that she was an amazing presenter, she was extremely entertaining and I felt like I learned a lot within the short 35 minutes she spoke. I always thought Google generated top picks depending on each persons past search history, so it was interesting to hear that its based almost solely on profit. It was disturbing to see that Google is profiting off of racism and discrimination against women. I would be very interested in reading her book and becoming more informed about these issues.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • I think the main idea to take from that discussion would be to make sure any source you are going to use for reference or think you are getting accurate information from is credible. In the science/medical world new studies and papers are always being published, so it is important to see who is writing it, who is promoting/funding it and why it is being published. Don't immediately assume everything you read is accurate and correct. Do your own background research.

After the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • I just wish that somehow the majority of our society could change for the better and that resources which are available to us could actually bring up the most relevant webpages and articles to what we type into the search engine. I wish people were more aware of how they classify and title things, and realize how many people are being offended and hurt due to these racist and sexist comments. I didn't realize how much these issues tie into the medical field.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how do they related to the panel discussion?
    • The common thread is simply that information is being archived incorrectly, or not at all. Inaccurate information is coming up when we type things into search engines, and racist and sexist terms are still being used within encyclopedias, the internet and other sources that people are using daily. We are being misinformed and also probably naive when it comes to classification and vocabulary.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • I think people just need to be more aware of where they are receiving information that they believe to be true, do more background research, be aware of how they are receiving information, and make sure nothing is hurtful or harming others. I wish it was easier to change the behaviors of people as a whole and to educate people on these issues.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • How can we reverse or change the first hits to pop up in a search engine? What can we do as a society to change the emphasis from profitable to accurate information, and how can we make people realize what should be more profitable (not racist/discriminatory).

Avery Vernon-Moore 14:34, 14 October 2016 (EDT)

Matthew Allegretti

After the panel discussion

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • I think it was interesting and thought provoking how the first speaker framed his argument in response to police violence. He used the example of somebody who was obviously guilty of possessing a firearm and firing at police officers, and began by acknowledging his guilt in the situation, but still trying to address why the suspect was placed in that situation in the first place. He focused on what systemically made a shootout and possible death a preferable alternative to a prison sentence. He also pointed to underlying problems that lead to that moment, such as domestic violence that contribute to the greater issue of criminal activity.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • The talk addressed inherent search biases in many archives, including ones that are often seen as reliable in the eyes of many. It also addressed the issue of paywalls and other financial barriers to publishing within reputable journals. Even substantial and important research may be buried because of lack of accessibility to scientific journals that can be caused by a variety of reasons.

After the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • I found it interesting that race and ethnicity are often considered so highly within the field of medicine. It seems somewhat valuable to know what regions a person may be natively from, or where they have been to determine what different factors they may have been exposed to, but other than that, having a known family history seems much more relevant to the health of a patient than their ancestral or ethnic background.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how are they related to the panel discussion?
    • The use of language in databases and issues that occur with sorting and handling information seems to be the common problem among these three articles and the panel discussion.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • I am able to realize the biases that I might bring when approaching research. I prioritize convenience over a lot of other measures when deciding what articles to focus my attention on, rather than genuinely searching for the highest quality of information available to me. In the future, I can seek to use resources other than those available online in order to avoid some of the issues that occur when sorting results in many search engines or similar systems.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • If scientific journals are capable of preferentially selecting what they publish, what factors determine how authors become published in a journal? If there is a bias towards more elite authors (those who have many published works, are well known in their field, etc.) what path is available to new scientists who are publishing for the first time?

Matthew R Allegretti 17:42, 15 October 2016 (EDT)

Courtney L. Merriam

After the panel discussion, but before you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • What I found surprising and slightly disturbing is the information on how Google organizes their search page results. For the longest time I thought it was organized by how relevant the information was to an individual’s search results, or based off other people’s search results. Now I know the search results are based off of what links will bring Google the most profit, or rather, which websites or companies pay google the most to have their links at the top. This makes me feel like when I search for something, I’m not receiving the links that would help me most. I suppose, however, that since Google is in fact a for-profit corporation, it’s not unexpected that their profits are important, it’s just surprising since I assumed it worked differently.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • What is relevant to my future career as a health care professional is that if I need to search for some medical information or information on a disease, I might not be finding the best source or link that will help me the most. Additionally, with archives, I will have to pay a fee or work for an organization that pays a fee, and if I’m not at the time, it will be more difficult for me to get the medical journal information I need.

After you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • The thing I found most disturbing from the readings was a certain section from the article on the feminist response to pop culture, where the author explains that the search for “women athlete” would indeed bring up search results about the “top 25 sexiest female athletes.” As a woman, and as I human being, I find it so insulting that these women, who have worked hard and accomplished great things, are still being considered most majorly for their aesthetic qualities. Their efforts are subverted by their inherent societal sexualization, because men want them and women want to look like them. It’s saddening and it makes me think that, regardless of what accomplishments I achieve, I will likely be judged more for my appearance than any academic things I do.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how do they relate to the panel discussion?
    • These three articles are all based around how classification works in different settings, from the social setting of mass search engine result organization to the more specific characteristics of the use of ontologies for bioinformatics. They relate to the panel discussion in that there is a shared examination of the way information is being categorized and stored, and that it may not be in the most ergonomic fashion. The readings and the discussion all point towards an examination of classical strategies with the goal of possibly finding a better method of structuring archived information.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • I would do my best to be aware of the sources and validity of the information I find, and I would possibly try to involve myself in my own sort of discipline based ontology that is a collection of the relevant information I, as well as my colleagues, find, such that if I have to revisit something I will already know it’s been fact checked and is trustworthy and accurate.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • What is an effective way an informed individual can work towards alleviating the bias within corporate oriented search results, and what is a good alternative to accessing relevant information that doesn’t buy into the flawed, for-profit orientation of current search engine organization?

Mia Huddleston

After the panel discussion, but before you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • I thought it was a very interesting panel and a important learning experience for me. What was most disturbing was how they made me realize that what a lot of people are trying to do to help racial justice, is really just making it worse in some ways and that there really isn't a clear answer of how to fix this issue.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • This panel was helpful in my future career when it comes to where I obtain my information from for my field (not google) and how to pass on this information to my colleagues.

After you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • What is most interesting to me after reading these papers is how the racial aspects of information technologies can have effects on medical classification terms. Of all aspects of information literacy, one would think that medical definitions and the use of information technology within medicine would be exempt from any racial issues. It is very interesting and somewhat disturbing how this is an issue in something that most would think would be blind to racism since, as it explains in Aspinall’s article, only 7% of genetic diversity between two individuals has to do with major human races (Aspinall 2005).
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how are they related to the panel discussion?
    • The common thread between these three papers is that there is a huge racial problem being seen in the classification of information literacy that is essentially blind to the public with little being done to change it. There are increasing numbers of people using these search engines who do not know how biased their search really is.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • I think the most important thing to do is to be increasingly critical of where you are getting your information from and how the information is being stored and also pass this knowledge on.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • I would like to understand if it is even possible to create an unbiased search engine. If so in what order would articles be placed and could there even be a way to create lists like this to be totally unbiased since human nature is to choose the first option as the best option.

Mia Huddleston 16:33, 17 October 2016 (EDT)

Shivum Desai

After the panel discussion, but before you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • What I first found to be interesting was the concept of the "Archive". It took me a little while to figure out what exactly the archive was because of the way it was being referred to. But eventually i understood the concept to be the entire data base of recordings and documentation that surround events, theories, history, and any other subject in the world. I found this very interesting because I had never thought of a collection of information as an archive before. Furthermore, what I also found to be interesting and very disturbing was the idea that Mr. Yousef was trying to convey. It made complete sense to me that the reason events in the world today are portrayed in the way they are is because the media only shows the viewers a small cross section of the truth. The real truth about events can only be understood by looking at all the information at once, via the archive.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • I think the information that was talked about in the panel could be relevant to my career as a health care professional in the same way that it would be relevant to my personal life. Simply looking at information in a more holistic view before establishing a conclusion or making a judgment is an extremely beneficial. For example, as a medical professional, looking at all elements of a new drug, more so at the cons and information that the pharmaceutical company doesn't want a physician to know about.

After you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • One of the things I found particularly interesting in the readings is the section in which race and ethnicity was basically described as having a more important role in diagnosing disease or predicting disorders in a patient than that own persons family history. The reason that is interesting to me is that is seems like many physical and biological characteristics are often passed down in families from generation to generation. I have personally found this to be the case in my own family when it comes to genetic disorders that lead to diseases. So to try to understand that it is actually the person's ethnicity that plays a larger role in that, is very interesting to me.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how do they relate to the panel discussion?
    • The common thread in these three articles has to do with the presentation of information with racial and gender bias. All articles talked about how information that is researched or looked for is often presented with a bias towards a certain ethnicity or gender, therefore leaving out the 'holistic' approach to information literacy.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • As I stated before, I would take a closer look at the information involved in pharmaceuticals that I were prescribe or technology used in operations. Specifically, I would research test results and the classifications and backgrounds of the test subjects. Based on what Ive learned from the panel, there is a high chance that there could be a bias in test subjects ethnicity as well.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • Why does ethnic and gender bias occur in search engines? Is it the conscious doing of a few (thousands) people or the subconscious doing of many (millions).

Shivum A Desai 20:30, 17 October 2016 (EDT):

Anindita Varshneya

After the panel discussion, but before you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • I found the part of the discussion focused on how black women were portrayed on Google Image search to be particularly surprising and disturbing. Though I have seen instances of bias on Google Image search before (though I wasn't as cognizant of these biases prior to this talk) I found it incredibly appalling that a large corporation like Google could so clearly allow search results like those appear. It made me incredibly curious as to how their search algorithm truly worked because if it is click based, this shows a toxic mentality within those who use Google frequently. If it is according to what Google's algorithm thinks is most relevant, the company itself has major ethical issues it should deal with. What is most surprising is that these types of bias are so often ignored by the average user.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • This is relevant to my future career because, no matter which scientific field I enter, research will play a large role in my career. Considering the large amounts of evident bias in Google's search results, I am curious as to how different research databases run searches, and how they choose to rank the articles they present to us. If this type of bias can occur in average search based programs, similar biases must exist (or may exist in the near future) in other platforms. My role as a health care professional will be impacted because I will need to make sure to the best of my ability that any research that I do is absent of as much research bias as possible.

After you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • The article about medical classification of racial and ethnic concepts was particularly interesting because it clarified my uncertainties of medical databases also carrying an inherent level of bias. By implicating certain diseases and illnesses directly with the biology of particular races and ethnicities, there is a disconnect as race is not a biologically based attribute. Ontological definitions provided according to this format, therefore, do no good to patients of certain skin colors who may be associated with illnesses that may not be relevant.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how are they related to the panel discussion?
    • The common thread among all of these articles and the panel discussion is that as subjective/non-numerical data is transferred to more objective means of analysis/ presentation, we must be careful of any inherent bias within the data or the way it is presented. It is important that databases similar to GO and MEDLINE ensure that the data presented does not imply any discrimination at the time the data enters the database, and also periodically over the lifespan of the database.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • I might change my practice as a health care professional by being cautious of any inherent bias in the databases and research that I might be reading. Furthermore, I will take the initiative to do more expansive research than what the first couple pages of search results provide me. Finally, I will also make a conscious effort to make sure I am not feeding into this problem by both ensuring that any research or clinical advice that I use does not carry any data that could be considered incriminating to any sociopolitical or socioeconomic group, and also by calling out or bringing attention to databases that do discriminate against certain populations.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • Given the increased use of databases and technology in research and medicine in particular, are there any governing bodies that ensure that the data presented is ethical? What are the chances that such an organization will come to exist in the near future, if it doesn't already?

--Anindita Varshneya 20:51, 17 October 2016 (EDT)

Jordan T. Detamore

After the panel discussion, but before you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • The third speaker of the panel was very intriguing to me. She had so much shocking information in the way that google and other search engines shape the information that we receive. I had no clue that there was this theory that search algorithms actually promote racist sites and articles. That was the most disturbing thing that I heard during the panel.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • We spent a lot of time in class talking about studies and search engines. It is important as both a scientist and a health care professional to be very informed and know sources that are trustworthy. It is important to know the actual facts and the panel made it clear that the easiest information to obtain is often not the most credible.

After you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • While it should not surprise me at this point because everything is about money, it is really interesting the extent at which search engines are based on money. From my experience, it has always seemed like my searches have been based on relevance or other things that I have searched in the past. It does however make sense that certain sites have to have priority because there are thousands of results when you search keywords.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how are they related to the panel discussion?
    • The common thread is once again that the current system of acquiring information is flawed across many different platforms. This idea is relatively unknown to many people yet it affects many aspects of society. People are unaware how biased the information that they are receiving is and how corporations have their hand in everything.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • It is just that more reinforcement that you always must check your sources and be aware of the biases in research and information. This comes in relation to medical studies, scientific studies, news media, and anything else that has the possibility to have some sort of bias. It also makes it even more important to make sure that your own studies remove as much bias as possible so that they may be seen as credible.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • To what degree do different search results affect the beliefs of people? Has this been study or can it be studied?

Isai Lopez

Before you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the From the Archive to Google: Information Technologies and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Americas panel that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing.
    • During the panel we listened to last Tuesday, I was surprised to learn that google and many algorithm based search engines have an inherent bias in the pages they display. This caught me completely off guard, as I typically conduct searches on google without much consideration that the information I get will be possibly biased. The biggest shock to me was during the final talk when the words "black girls" was typed into Google, the entire first page of results consisted of pornography and sexualized depictions of African American women, when neither of the words had anything to do with sex. In the future, it will be important for me to take a second look at what search results I get and their sources to see where the information is coming from.
  2. How is what was talked about in the panel relevant to your future career as a scientist or health care professional?
    • I am pursuing a career in medicine, and ultimately part of my role is to educate the patient with information that comes from sources that are extensively researched, modern, and strictly objective. Undoubtedly, I will need to research information on my own and part of that challenge will be to make sure that I am informed by sources that are free of biases, to ensure that I don't misinform the patient and lose trust or worse, end up doing harm to them.

After you do the readings

  1. Please comment on what aspect of the readings that you found particularly interesting, exciting, or disturbing?
    • The first article based on the operationalization of race and ethnicity surprised me quite a bit in its retelling of the history of the most trusted and largest databases. Most notably, the change from the MeSH thesaurus' use of "Racial Stocks" as classifications of human beings shocked me. Using the term "race" and the fact that it took until 2004 to change this classification frustrated me. To see that a medical thesaurus which is supposed to be based in fact and contain updated/ modern revealed that discussions of race have long gone ignored in all fields.
  2. What is the common thread amongst these three readings and how are they related to the panel discussion?
    • The common trend among the readings as they are related to the panel discussion is primarily based upon the presentation of data, and the importance of presenting information in an unbiased way while still making it accessible and quick to find. While the articles examine different databases or sources for information as topics, the overarching theme is that a special care has to be taken in making sure that search results display objective information that is not guided by connotations of the word and strictly adheres to definition to avoid misinforming readers.
  3. How might you change your practice in your future career as a scientist or health care professional based on the panel discussion and readings?
    • The panel and reading revealed that the sources we often get our information from can be somewhat dangerous when attempting to find sources that are unbiased and objective. As a health care professional, part of my duty is to build honest and trust-based relationships with my patients. To that end, providing credible and objective information is one of the most important factors in doing that. Therefore, as a health care professional I need to be incredibly vigilant and make sure to conduct rigorous research into the sources of information I provide.
  4. Write a discussion question based on the panel and readings that you would like to talk about further.
    • For the purposes of providing unbiased information to potential readers while making articles and pages efficient to access. Is it possible to design an algorithm that is free of subjective information and presents a broad range of topics while still making it easy to narrow down to specific topics and journals?
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