Thursday, 11 April 2013

Call me the devils advocate

Today is the day I put it out there. All out there.

I took a step back and thought about this so called unique, never done before experiment and I noticed a few flaws. Before I mention them I would like to mention a few good points concerning ESS and the experiment. Firstly, I do like the point that its done on a professional level one that can be compared to that of a post-grad thesis. ESS is also very hands-on and practical. However I must point out a few weak linksin our experiment namely:

The controls (at the student’s home) are not even close to resembling the experiment itself. Firstly the jars in each person’s house are different. I don't know about the other students but my room gets an average of 8hours sunlight when I remember to open my blinds. I’m pretty sure the LFS building gets a bit less then that but I guess we will never know. Now, something very important. I have not only a brother that I know plays with my plant but, like every other home, I have pests (Flys,mosquitoes ect).These are only but a few small concerns I have with my little Flora. Is having it even necessary I keep asking myself? 

 I feel that the following will play a role, might not be big, but a role in the experiment never the less. The stones, the net, size of the room and level at which the fish are being kept.                        The stones; the stones are used supposedly to regulate pH, evidence of this is should still come to light. A few questions come to mind when I saw the stones at the bottom of the jars on the firth floor; did anyone boil it in water for at least ten minutes to get rid of any bacteria, fungus, algae and parasites that may be present? Did anyone ensure by a reliable source that these stones that are being used are found in the fish’s natural habitat? How do we know if these rocks don't contain dangerous metals or minerals which will leech into the water over time and kill your aquatic animals or alter the chemistry of the water?
I don’t want to mention a lot about the net or the size of the room itself as I feel this is all common knowledge as to how it will effect our experiment but I will mention a few points concerning the level at which the plants are found. Firstly this experiment is being completed on level five. Now I’m no expert but I feel being above sea level will not only effect the fish but on the plant as well. These plants are not indoor plants yet we expect them to grow as if they are. Oxygen is at a lower concentration the higher we go. These fish are living organism and just like you they can feel when something is not right. These plants grow at ground level and fish swim at sea level not five levels up.

As future scientists we should stop thinking inside the box. These above mentioned problems that I stumbled upon are not even a drop in the bucket when it comes to improving the over all experiment. We must realise that our work remains for next generations and we should leave no stone unturned when it comes to having the perfect experiment and with it perfect results. My name is William Sonnenberg and I’m a student.

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