Reflections on the DATA Conference ‘Paradigm’ Debate

Prof Richard Kimbell
2003, Vol. 8, No. 1,


An emergency eye operation (for a torn and detached retina) forced my absence from the DATA research conference, so it was really interesting to receive all the papers in the conference book, which has been admirably edited by Eddie Norman. There is an abundance of riches here. The Editorial Board of the Journal has debated how the Journal should best respond to all these papers, and, specifically, how the Journal should seek to bring to a wider audience the excellence of those papers. This piece is an attempt at that process, and I propose to take a single theme and explore how a number of the papers tackled it. In the following text, I have quoted liberally from the presenters’ texts, and the reader needs to understand my system for doing that for there are often three voices at work simultaneously throughout the piece with much potential for confusion. My voice is written in plain text. The presenters’ voices are indented in italics and quoted directly from their various papers and, where the presenter is quoting a separate source, this is further indented and condensed. I hope, in this way, to give the reader a direct source back to the original paper, to which reference should be made in the event of confusion.

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