“It’s different being a man or a woman doing research”

Helena Machado was the protagonist of the first 2018 doctoral seminar in Communication Sciences and Cultural Studies. She spoke on “Technological surveillance systems in the European Union: methodological and ethical challenges”, framing the theme in the project of which she is responsible researcher, “Exchange – Forensic Geneticists and the Transnational Exchange of DNA data in the EU: Engaging Science with Social Control, Citizenship and Democracy”. In addition, she stressed that her intervention would serve to “share the methodological and ethical challenges that have to do with the geopolitical and gender object of study”.

Helena Machado drew attention to the fact that gender weighs on research, arguing that “it’s different to be a man or a woman doing research”. The same is true of the place where the investigation is carried out: “Investigating, for example, in the European area, is very different if it is a woman doing it in the United Kingdom or in Germany. And even in Portugal, it will be different if you do it from Lisbon or Braga”.

About the self-led Exchange project, based on the CECS, which began in October 2015 and runs through the end of September 2020, with a budget of around € 1.8 million, comes from a Consolidator Grant awarded by the European Research Council, a type of individual funding, for scientists pursuing research excellence in Europe, so that they can set up their own teams and develop their area of ​​expertise. The project is collecting empirical data in the 28 Member States, through interviews and analysis of diverse documentation and, according to Helena Machado, aims at an in-depth comparative study of five case studies in Portugal, Poland, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It is intended to understand how genetic technologies are incorporated into criminal investigation processes, and what difficulties and controversies arise in the criminal justice system (all information, here). The moderation was by Anabela Carvalho.

This was the first of four sessions with the focus this year on internationalization, a joint initiative of CECS – Communication and Society Research Center and DCC – Department of Communication Sciences. The initiative is complemented by methodological workshops, the first of which was dedicated to quantitative methods and was led by João Gonçalves.

The seminars will continue on 23 March with Olga Bailey of Nottingham Trent University (UK), and with a workshop on image analysis, with Silvana Mota Ribeiro. The seminars will always take place in the Sala de Atos of the Institute of Social Sciences, from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m, and are free entry. The workshops will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., requiring prior enrollment of the doctoral students of the CECS-DCC courses.

Complete program here