A Butterfly of Masterly Adroitness

A Butterfly of Masterly Adroitness

Annagreta Dyring (Independent Scholar, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-057-0.ch002
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Abstract

The Aurora butterfly has elegant antennae. This butterfly was discovered by the botanist Carl Linnaeus from the Swedish Province of Småland. The Latin name is Anthocharis meaning beautiful flower. It should be said that women view the world differently from men. In general a woman has other premises, other experiences, maybe even other values. Therefore science needs women. In addition they are needed statistically as an expression of our renowned equality.
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Intelligence is a refined form of an insect’s antennae.

Horace Engdahl

The Aurora butterfly has elegant antennae. This butterfly was discovered by the botanist Carl Linnaeus from the Swedish Province of Småland. The Latin name is Anthocharis meaning beautiful flower.

It should be said that women view the world differently from men. In general a woman has other premises, other experiences, maybe even other values. Therefore science needs women. In addition they are needed statistically as an expression of our renowned equality.

Gunilla Bradley, whom we can liken to the Aurora butterfly, is as sharp as her male colleagues, but she has partially different values and her own particular feelers. She chose to study the role of humans and their opportunities in the modern machinations of society. Humans as an increasingly effective cog in a computerised society is indeed infected territory. The subject is sometimes politically uncomfortable. In such cases she has temporarily closed her wings and waited for morning. Sensibly she soon saw the welcoming biotope in the west, in sun-drenched California.

Working life is ruled by traditions, power structures and economic prerequisites and the adaptation of people to these conditions is under severe strain. To conduct research on these structures and under these premises is to open up one’s visor and perspectives.

If one is to analyse the development of society one must focus on the softer human factors. New research methods need to be applied and tested from a perspective of equity. Personal experiences of everyday life outside the academic world are an asset in such research. Gunilla Bradley’s background from the forested landscape in Småland has provided a solid ground to stand on. Respect for the various ‘roles’ of people is not always learnt at school, but comes from our early environment.

To develop technology and control its possibilities has traditionally been the field of men. Today Information and Communication Technology (ICT) steers more and more people’s reality, directly or indirectly. The participation of women and their opportunities in this development has always interested Gunilla Bradley. Using welfare as the utmost goal she has also studied many branches, life environment, and roles in the upheaval within technological development. Terms such as quality of life, welfare for all and peace are here of the utmost importance. Gunilla Bradley has impressed us with her conscious struggle for the wide usage of high-quality accomplishment within ICT research. She has also created many successful forms of international collaboration and networks. This has not been achieved overnight. It has had to be built brick by brick where the highest quality of her research has been the best aid.

In the turmoil of technological development popular science is also needed as a bridge-builder, but not least also for paving the way for democracy. In Sweden contacts between research and the surrounding society has moved in waves. In the 1980’s Public Understanding of Science was on the way up in Sweden and Internationally. Gunilla Bradley was one of those people who worked early on to promote open science. Her perspective was concentrated on the “human factor” and its conditions in the work environment and in everyday life. Initially this view was looked upon as “Science Light” by the traditionalists. In reality it concerned important analyses for the future of modern society.

There is a great need of researchers who go their own way. Reality is not constant, values vary and the academic balance is not always well calibrated. Gunilla Bradley’s consistent perusal of the individual’s meeting with the IT society has not been main-stream. Therefore it gives me great pleasure to see that Gunilla owns such a prominent position in the international community of researchers. There her contributions are highly valued. Today she inspires many young scientists all over the world. Her questions and results carry much weight and purpose internationally. They are of fundamental importance irrespective of national boundaries.

Finally, a personal reflection - when Gunilla and I talk on the telephone it takes time before we are finished. She talks a long time when she is passionate about a subject, and she is nearly always passionate. On many occasions she is very open, unprotected in conversation. She acts the same way with her research. It absorbs her completely. She gives of herself without thinking that she is a butterfly.

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