John, this is great. It’s a conversation I have with myself and my colleagues pretty much every day in some form. When our work has the potential to improve people’s lives, e.g. my current project is about improving transition from military service to civilian life for Australian servicemen and women, we must carry that awareness every step of the way.
Whether that’s conducting research in an appropriately sensitive way, using a research model like appreciative inquiry to focus on benefits vs. detriments, service modelling and journey mapping to reflect lived experience, and drawing conclusions that actively look to beneficial outcomes, all of that carries political load.