'Babes in the woods': Geographers reflect on their participation in a forest consultancy project

Andrew McGregor*, Chris Gibson, Fiona Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article engages experimentally with the idea of self-reflexivity in research. It stems from the reflections of three geographers who a decade ago undertook an Australian government consultancy, surveying public attitudes to forests. The consultancy project was part of the New South Wales Government's Regional Forest Agreement process which, amid much controversy, aimed to incorporate a deeper participation of stakeholders in decision-making processes. The article critically reflects on the context and production of academic research through a narrated script - a play, with actors and scenes - reconstructed from key moments or 'flashpoints' in the research process, when issues exposing the partiality of academic knowledge production were paramount. In adopting a 'dramatic' mode of communication, we intend to achieve two things: first, to capture in the article an acknowledgement that the production of academic knowledge incorporates hidden power relationships and alternative non-academic identities; and second, to allegorically represent the ways in which the process of conducting the research was itself a play within which the authors struggled to maintain integrity and enact agency. Although we hint at important ethical issues in research, it is left to readers to draw their own conclusions about how institutional positionalities and personal identities affected the academic knowledge production process. Geography

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


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