The more I read first drafts of working papers, the more I pick up on scholars’ diverse skills: some authors are really good at coming up with an interesting question; some can really execute a rigorous research design; some have a flare for composing elegant prose; and some are really good at organizing a manuscript. But few – very few!! – are good at all those things combined. In yet another piece in my saga to save academia from itself, I say scrap the expectation that a single scholar must struggle to be a creative, methodologist, writer and editor. An alternative system is possible.
I have never been a fan of conferences. Perhaps it all goes back to my unreasonable high expectations about intellectual debate, which is only marginally related to professional academic advancement. But stubborn that I am, I still can’t quite accept that our meetings are fated to be so stale, so stagnant, and so other adjectives that begin with “st”. Killing conferences as we know them may be the only way to salvage intellectual debate. Continue reading Killing conferences to salvage intellectual debate