Category Archives: Uncategorised

We Should Deescalate the War on the Coronavirus

The immediate reaction to the emergence of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China, has focused on its challenges to the biomedical sciences. But the new infection is at least as big a challenge to the social sciences. If we continue to neglect this, there is a serious danger that we end up with mistaken… Read More »

“Capturing and Analyzing Social Change: Opportunities of Analyzing Visual Data in the 21st Century”: 2019 Blankensee Colloquium

Most of the presentations from the 2019 Blankensee colloquium, “Capturing and Analyzing Social Change: Opportunities of Analyzing Visual Data in the 21st Century”, are now available online via YouTube. My contribution deals with Video Data–21st Century Methods and 20th Century Thinking. It is also available through this link. I discuss the rise of video data… Read More »

Universities – what is it reasonable to expect of them?

…This led me to think further about the weight of expectations that was being placed on the contemporary university and whether this was in any sense fair or realistic. A casual trawl of the trade press and social media identifies calls for universities to feed and house students for free or at highly subsidised rates,… Read More »

Robert Dingwall to Receive SLSA Prize for Contributions to the Socio-Legal Community

The SLSA Executive is delighted to announce that this year’s prize for contributions to the socio-legal community will be awarded to Professor Robert Dingwall. Robert has had a long and illustrious career in socio-legal studies and sociology of law, including positions at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, the University of… Read More »

The Academic Conference – and its Discontents

Every few months, my Twitter timeline fills with complaints about academic conferences from graduate students and early career scholars. Why, they ask, do I have to pay X hundred dollars/pounds/euros to attend the main annual meeting of my discipline’s learned society? Why is always in an expensive city? I end up giving a 15 minute… Read More »

Social Precognition and Sociology: The Case of Resistentialism and ANT

A small group of us have recently been working informally on a hypothesis that we have called ‘social precognition’. In summary, this proposes that the world of STEM cannot make any major advances that have not already been imagined by creative artists. Science fiction precedes science… However, my researches have raised the troubling thought that… Read More »

Reflections on the Death of Doris Day

The recent death of Doris Day severed one of the last links with a Golden Age of Hollywood. Many tributes have been paid to a woman whose talent was rarely fully used in her screen roles. In the course of these obituaries and memorials, it is interesting to note the songs that are picked out… Read More »

What counts as “Real Sociology”?

…if one looks around a typical campus, it is striking how much sociology has abandoned to other fields. The consequence is that those fields have invented their own social sciences to compensate. Engineering has human factors, computer science has user experience, transport planning looks almost exclusively to behavioural economics. Students have the message that sociology… Read More »