Monday, November 20, 2006

the jaunty professor

I'm giving a talk at the University of Michigan on my replication paper in a couple weeks. I received an e-mail from someone there saying that the flier for my talk was attached. The e-mail said:
I'd appreciate it if you'd look over the flyer and send back any desired 
changes. I took the liberty of grabbing an image of you from your flickr
page. If it does not in your opinion convey sufficient gravity or formality
or native attractiveness, perhaps you could send me a replacement. (I think
it's jaunty.)
To which I could only wonder, what is this going to be? Turns out:

michigan talk poster

I will admit to some uncertainty as to how well the photo represents my "native attractiveness," but I gave the thumbs up regardless. Maybe I should wear a prosthetic hook for the talk and gesture it menacingly when talking about those scurvy bilgerats who won't allow others to replicate their findings.

7 comments:

Lucy said...

That is an awesome flier. I think you need to train a parrot to sit on your shoulder and reiterate your key points, too.

Fabio said...

New talk title: "Replication for Quantitative Social Science: Why not Pirates?"

Anonymous said...

Truly Awesome! Arghhhh!

astrid jane said...

"Jauntiness as a Primary Standard for Evaluating Scientific Merit: Why not Sociology?" Okay, so we're not the most respected, best funded, or most methodologically rigorous of the sciences...so why can't we stake out our place as the jauntiest? What we lack in proofs, formulas and..uh...facts..we'll make up for in Bowler Hats and walking sticks! Next year everyone who shows up in a Zoot Suit or Cricket Whites gets $20 off ASA registration.

Actually, though, the title of the talk itself (as it's printed here) doesn't make much sense to me. Er....grammatically, I mean.

Eszter said...

Yes to the hook idea. The parrot idea is interesting as well, but may be just a bit harder to pull off.

Cool poster.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm off topic by discussing the paper instead of the flier...but... I like the general idea you are pushing, and you anticipated most of my reactions. But I still worry about two things. One is that releasing data in some cases can allow other people to use it to scoop something else you were planning to do. You mentioned that, but I think it is a pretty big concern. I just finished collecting a data set that took me and about 30 students 7 years to collect. One of my students wants to do a fairly straightforward analysis with the data. If the data is released at that point, I could loose a lot of investment of my life. This isn't just about me. I worry about it reducing the incentive for these kinds of labor intensive data gathering projects (same things with writing code etc.).

Second, there is another piece of added work. When you release code and original data, you sort of produce an obligation to help other people understand it and work through it. I've spent countless hours helping people deal with event history diffusion analyses. I can only imagine how much more work it would be if they actually had my DIFFUSE.CPP program to work with. The code is documented ok for someone who knows CPP and EH well. But for most sociologists, the programming logic is too unfamiliar to navigate and modify without some help. Again, my question isn't so much about my particular situation, but about how such policies changing incentive structures that would ultimately discourage certain types of work.

I'm really not sure how it would work and the story you tell of econ is encouraging. But at the same time, they don't collect their own data as much as we do and so it might play out differently.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Canada Jeremy! It's Rich Carpiano.

Sal sent me the bullriding clip and was hooked--can I join the fun?

That's quite a jaunty pic. Just be sure to wear something pink though--lots of economists at ISR.

BTW, I hate to revisit a past issue, but re: journal reps, I don't recall seeing on that list ASA's very own J of Health and Social Behavior (impact factor of 2.574--higher than Social Forces and Annual Review of Soc). Medical sociologists never get any respect.... even when they bring in NIH dollars...