Let’s talk tools!


Give me six hours to chop down a tree
 and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

– Abraham Lincoln –

Last month Sofie Boons (Research Associate), and Tom McDonagh (Research Technician), kicked off a series of team activities by asking CFPR colleagues to share an image of three tools/instruments/apparatuses that were significant to their work. They aimed to encourage people to stop and reflect on what they use to ‘make’ and ‘research’ – a task that seemed appropriately timed given the new home-working scenario, with many lacking access to their usual range of tools and having to think especially creatively about ways of working. Picking only three tools proved to be a challenge for many of our researchers, and the stories behind people’s choices sparked inspiring virtual team discussions.

Sofie said: ‘Some of us grow so used to our tools, their handling becomes second nature and without them we could not do what we do. Some of these tools are bought, some made, most of them have also been designed, sometimes we use them as intended, sometimes we use them for tasks they were not designed for, and in some cases their limitations are inspirational. By having a moment to pay tribute to them, and share them with each other, we can catch a meaningful glimpse of each other’s research through process and skill.’

The collated tool images are presented below and over the coming weeks we will be posting them out individually here with the researcher’s comments about what inspired them when it came to picking their three.

We’d like to invite you to join in and share your three work tools of choice! Tag us with your images on Instagram (@cfpr_research) or Twitter (@cfprresearch) and #letstalktools

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