I see ontology and methodology as very connected terms. Ontology, to me, is the study of being, looking at what exists in the world, and what it means that something exists, or as Jonathan Grix would define it, “what is out there to know?” It can be difficult to grasp this concept when just looking at a definition, but I find it easier to understand in application. For example, objectivists see the world as stable and unaffected by us, its actors. On the other hand, constructivists believe we are a part of the world and indivisible from it. Complex ideas like war, poverty, peace, and more are real but only exist concurrently with us. Methodology is how a researcher goes about researching an aspect of ontology. I think of methodology as a researcher’s ‘plan of attack’ on a given research topic. It lays out how the researcher will approach a topic and work to study it.
I believe, as a result of upbringing, experiences, and other influences, that humans inherently have certain biases, whether they be implicit or explicit. Because of this, I do not think that any researcher is truly an objective observer. Every piece of knowledge that a researcher gains from their work, I believe, is influenced by their biases, but that knowledge can also create new biases in that person. As for implications of these beliefs, I feel as though biases are less likely to influence research when looking at information through a neopositivist point a view because there is not a focus on situated knowledge, but more so on measurability. With my current research topic, looking at the intersection of scientific evidence and religiosity, most of my work will be dealing with invisible structures and underlying beliefs. I will have to investigate deep-rooted distrust in science due to religious beliefs and how that influences environmental policy made in very religious countries. While measurability is not the easiest with these areas of study, I still feel a neopositivist approach will be the most effective in looking at what certain religions and governments have done to combat climate change. My topic is slightly challenging to confront as I have to look at things from a slightly more interpretivist point of view when looking at how exactly different religious leadership feels about environmental science and try to not let any underlying biases I may have on certain religious beliefs, and then from a more neopositivist point of view when studying the statistics and science of the overall effect these religions have had on repairing the environment.
 Jonathan Grix, “Introducing Students to the Generic Terminology of Social Research,” Politics 22, no. 3 (2002): 180.
 Aaron Boesenecker. The Philosophy of Science: Discovering Our Intellectual Commitments, PPT Presentation, SISU-206 Research, 2019.
 Andrew Abbott. Methods of Discover: Heuristics for the Social Sciences. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2004): 43.