Biology Dissertation - Help converting politics to science?

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    Hey everyone, I would really appreciate any thoughts if you have a few free minutes?

    I'm currently narrowing my dissertation topic down and I'm wanting to focus on the HIV epidemic in the late 70s / early 80s on the LGBT community but I'm struggling with converting my political angle into a title with sufficient scientific biology content.

    My angle is on the use of HIV as a biological weapon, through the stigma of it being a gay disease which resulted in refusal of treatment and the hesitancy for research, incredibly expensive medication which many could not afford.

    Ideally I'd love to go into the topic and explain the molecular mechanisms of HIV, the epidemiology of the early western outbreaks, the poor initial response and reasons behind it. Possibly comparing to more modern outbreaks?

    Any thought on how I could turn this into a relevant scientific dissertation rather than all politics?

    Any thoughts / suggestions would be amazing!
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    This is a difficult one without knowing more detail. What course are you doing and what does your handbook specify in terms of data collection and analysis? I imagine you could use things like case reports, surveys and public opinion research to make your argument but are you expected to do anything lab based for your project? It sounds like a great idea but I'd be more worried about meeting your criteria. Have you talked to a potential supervisor about this?
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    This is a difficult one without knowing more detail. What course are you doing and what does your handbook specify in terms of data collection and analysis? I imagine you could use things like case reports, surveys and public opinion research to make your argument but are you expected to do anything lab based for your project? It sounds like a great idea but I'd be more worried about meeting your criteria. Have you talked to a potential supervisor about this?
    Hey, thanks for the reply.

    It's just a literature based review so no further surveys or lab work are needed. My dissertation works out as a course unit replacement so one less exam in June.

    I'm a final year biologist studying straight biology, but have customised it more towards molecular biology and microbiology

    The supervisor I've been allocated is a plant biologist so this isn't his speciality, but I've spoken to our head lecturer of infectious diseases who loves the idea. I'm meeting with her this friday to discuss the topic further, but I'm thinking of looking into the effects of public opinion on infectious disease research and treatment?

    HIV wasn't really given any attention until gay men in the west began to contract it, where is was before seen as just an african disease. It only really got traction and funding once major hollywood stars got it despite all the campaigning of the LGBT community which I thought to be quite interesting.

    Possibly even linking it to the recent NHS discussion of whether prep should be offered for free?
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    Sounds good. I'd focus on a time period if I were you and give justification about why that time period. Not sure what you mean about prep being offered for free but it sounds like you're on the right track in general. Good luck!
 
 
 
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