Dr Matt Baker, Bath Spa University
As a Scientist it's always been about the data for me, but my attitudes towards data are changing. In the past, data was always carefully planned and it's collection was carefully structured to ensure that we could answer very specific questions; that we could test our assumptions and quantify our certainty/uncertainty. but what if we don't really know the question? My approach now is to take a step back and have conversations whilst experiencing the data and then piece the two together. This in turn helps me to develop new questions and inquiries which I can then explore with more traditional scientific methods
"I feel the pull to lie down and sleep here among the flowers. I allow time to drift. This is forest bathing. I am totally immersed in my surroundings: I can smell the leaf mould, the gentle scent of the bluebells; the sun is warming the back of my neck; I can hear the gentle rustlings of small mammals in the undergrowth and the song of the birds above me".
Excerpt from The Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell
The authors project seeks to interview nature writers in areas and environments that they have covered in their work whilst taking sub-second measurements of light and colour; to link the experience with the data. It’s a year-long project that will run in the weeks either side of the spring and summer equinox, as well as the longest and shortest days of the year.
How does it feel, being in this place?
What first brought you here?
And now? What should we do ?
Like the different areas have their own distinct feel. sound, smell?
Why do you come back?
I'm not sure that it is a direct question, but as part of my recent work I've become really interested in 'intimate' data rather than big data; the experiences and feelings of one person in detail rather than repeated data points from a large cohort. My question is, what can we learn from this type of data and how can we apply it?