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Feb 25 Soan 2112 Nightingale Lecture.odt

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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2112
Linda Hunter

Monday, February 25, 2013 SOAN 2112 Lecture Florence Nightingale: Sociology, Methodology, Theory By Lynn MacDonald, director Collected Works of Florence Nightingale - First woman in House of Commons? Florence Nightingale 1820-1910 - Major founder of nursing - Nightingale as a social scientist - First woman Fellow, Royal Statistical Society - Pioneer methodologist - Systems thinker - Applied social science, especially for health care - The cause of the passionate statiscian: to save lives - To do this requires knowledge of “God’s Laws” – the laws of nature - “God governs by His laws, but so do we when we have discovered them. If it were otherwise, we could not learn from the past for the future” (Essay in Memoriam) - Get the best info available - Use government reports and stats - Read and interview experts o You need to know what information exists before researching yourself, because you want toADD to the information that exists - If available info is inadequate, collect your own - Draw up a questionnaire - Consult experts on it, practitioners who use it Nightingale’s methodology - Test questions (pre-test) before using - When writing up, consult experts (peer review) o Before publishing it o No official system of peer review at her time o She did it informally - Practitioners who will actually use the data - For application, liaise with users Application of research knowledge - Laws govern society as well as naural world - L.A.J. Quetelet (Belgian statistician) influence - Quetelet: “the creator of a new science in which observation and calculation are allied to bring out the immutable laws which govern phenomena apparently the most accidental of our physical life to our least actions” o Things like marriage rates, suicide rates  These are individual decisions, so how can you calculate it?  You can calculate because proportions are constant from year to year  There can be predictability Unintended consequences - The role of statistics “Consecrated blunders in medicine prove the need of statistics” - “statistics must be made otherwise than to prove a preconceived idea” - Quetelet gave examples of infant mortality in foundling hospitals o These hospitals took in unwanted babies o They had high infant mortality o Good intentions, but bad results o We must go by the results Quetelet on health data - “different treatments have but a small influence on the death rate” - Hospital death rates depend “on the way they are kept more than on the treatement employed” - “administration saves more hospital patients than the best medical science” - Having doctors and medicine won’t help patients as much as the quality of water, air, cleaning, laundry, bedding, sanitation, etc. will help Knowledge for application - Respect for the power of unintended results - New programs must be monitored statistically - Statistics must be kept on a uniform basis so that comparisons can be made - “hospital statistics” paper given at the International Statistical Congress, 1860 She was interested in how to impr
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