YEAR ONE INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH STUDIES
STUDENT NAME (S)
Nguyen Minh Tri(21)
Htet Wai Yan Linn(14)
Ethan Ng Yi(13)
Ian Joseph Acu Kang(15)
SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, SINGAPORE
Mr Ng Guo Hui
INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH PROPOSAL
TITLE OF PROJECT
Research Topic: Do Singaporeans know what GMO is and if so, what is their opinion/ attitude towards it?
An investigation of whether Singaporeans are aware of GMO products and how they feel towards it, whether they share similar attitudes as those of our overseas counterparts.
PURPOSE OF RESEARCH
Aims of research
We would like find out if the majority of the people living in Singapore share similar attitudes as those of our overseas counterparts and we would like to examine the views of the general public on this research topic. We would also like to educate and reveal more information about GMO products to the public if they are not aware that the everyday food that they are consuming in their daily lives are actually GMO products.
Subject(s) of study
The subjects in this research are basically all of the residents residing in Singapore, however, we would like to focus this research topic on people who shops for groceries. We would also like to compare our findings with those of the similar researches done by our overseas counterparts.
RELEVANCY OF RESEARCH
Why is your research important?
Our research is important because GMO products are gradually becoming more common and are replacing organic products. They are also starting to get rooted deeply as a part and parcel of our lives- our everyday food. Hence, we chose this topic as we would like to find out the public’s opinion and thoughts towards GMO products which will probably be the type of product that will dominate global markets in the near future. One of the important problem that we have to take note is that, will the majority of the Singaporeans accept or reject the idea of having GMO products as our everyday foods. Another reason as of why this topic was chosen was because the we wanted to find out if the majority of the public share similar attitudes towards GMO products as those of our overseas counterparts.
How does it contribute to existing body of knowledge?
This research will raise public awareness in the issue of GMO products among the public and this will result in stronger reactions by people towards GMO products. This research will also reveal how GMO products dominated the markets, overtaking and replacing organic products. Our research also points out the difference between organic and GMO products, including the positive and negative effects of GMO products on our health compared to organic products. This research will also tell us whether the public would make an uproar or just accept GMO and from this we can prepare a solution in case they make an uproar to cancel all GMO Products.
How does your research contribute to/impact the society or community?
Finding out the opinions and attitudes towards GMO products allows us to improve the types of products we have in the market. This research will show whether the majority of the people here in Singapore accepts or reject GMO as their daily food.This research will also instill a sense of awareness in citizens on GMO and explain its dominance in the global market. This research also serves as a way to explain the positive and negative effects of GMO products to our health compared to organic products, and this ultimately leads back to people considering more when buying daily food products, knowing their advantages and disadvantages.
SCOPE OF RESEARCH
We can go to popular supermarkets like FairPrice, Cold Storage, Sheng Shiong to interview people who are picking or buying GMO products. We will strictly stick to doing the interview in these 3 supermarkets only, interviewing only Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents only. We would choose 3 outlets for each supermarket, so we would be doing our interviews at 9 locations in total. These are the field surveys.
For the internet surveys, we would make a Facebook Question(which is the survey) and make a page, invite Facebookers to answer the question. We would also like to include SST students and their parents. So the boundaries are sticking to 3 outlets each of FairPrice, Cold Storage, Sheng Shiong and interviewing only Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents.
What are the current research available/ you have come across?
We have come across researches like the ones from Agricultural Technological Agency, informing us that the public is most concerned with it’s safety, and also insecure about how GMOs affects us.
Summarise the research articles that you have encountered which may be useful to your research.
The researches that we have encountered are mainly about finding out the factors that affect the public’s understanding about GMO and how they treat GMO. Lesley(2004) reported that New Zealand allowed GMO grass somewhen after World War 2. However it was banned eventually. New Zealand also genetically modified sheep bred 3000 of them, however these sheep were killed due to some reasons . This meant that GMO have only brought in bad results, consequences until now and this might be the reason why some people reject GMO as their daily consumptions. Singapore, having an image of a clean and green nation, it is a necessity finding out how Singapore will manage the GMO issue, will they either continue letting GMOs dominate the markets even with the negative effectives or will they completely ban them, like New Zealand.
How are you going to gather data?
First of all, our group will need to meet up together to build effective survey questions. This type of teamwork builds the team spirit in our team, allowing us to work better. We can carry out surveys for Singaporeans on GMO products on the internet or on the field. For the case of the internet, we can conduct online surveys and post questions related to GMO products on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and record down their views. On the field,we can go to supermarkets and check if the people buying the food are aware of GMO and what they understand of GMO by surveying them. The public relations manager can organize talks and make a mass interview in public (e.g. supermarkets). This makes the project more efficient as he is having an interview/survey directly with the public instead of using the secondary source from the internet and he is able to cover more people than individual surveying. We can conduct this research on people of different age groups to see if older or younger people are more aware of GMO products.Some alternatives that we have thought of would be to look up on some secondary sources to obtain the information we need. We can study the past studies on GMO products, which is easily available on the internet, and use them to find out if our research is reliable.
How are you going to collate data?
We can use softwares on the computer like Microsoft Excel and Numbers to gather the data.In these softwares itself, we can create several spreadsheets to arrange the data of the same topic into different categories.The quantitative areas of the results can be represented in diagrams like graphs and charts instead of using words to represent the data to make it more visually appealing. This way, collating results becomes easier and simpler to analyze.
How are you going to sift and sort data i.e. which data is important?
We can develop a criteria in which the data must fit into and this allows us to filter out unnecessary information that does not meet the criteria and this process only keeps the information that meets the established criteria. For our case, we can develop a criteria, for example, "Only Singaporeans". Then, we would be able to eliminate out information from foreigners and only include the information gathered from Singaporeans.
How are you going to analyze the data?
Since we are doing social science, we are analyzing the public’s view, attitude and opinion. So, we would just categorize the views, attitude and opinion into 2 big groups. Positive Attitude(Accept) and Negative Attitude(Reject). If the person says, “It’s fine, I have eaten these foods for many years, nothing had or will happen to me!” Then it probably will go to the positive attitude category and vice versa. And from there, we compare the number of checks, ticks in each category and count the value. If there is more of positive attitude, we would conclude that Singaporeans see GMO as normal food and their attitude, treat it as normal food and they think it is fine. After this, we then see each of the responses from the people surveyed and find out the main point of each response. We check if there are similar main points from other surveys, we would pick the response that is most common and put that into our conclusion too.
How are you going to present the data?
We can use softwares on the computer like Microsoft Excel and Numbers to present the data.In these softwares itself, we can create several spreadsheets to arrange the data of the same topic into different categories.The quantitative areas of the results can be represented in diagrams like graphs and charts instead of using words to represent the data to make it more visually appealing. This way, the audience are able to understand the results of our project better as it is represented in graphs and diagrams instead of using only words to present the data collected.
Lesley, H. (2011, June 18) Factors determining the public understanding of GM technologies. AGBiotechNet, Retrieved from http://www.ctu.edu.vn/~dvxe/doc/Factors%20determining%20%20understandingGMO.pdf
DESIRED OUTCOMES/SKILL ACQUISATION