I’m sitting in the biannual Scandinavian main conference of my main discipline. Here’s a few topics I’ve thought these last few days.
Lots of the stuff is about studying and explaining a phenomenon with the help of theory and material/experiment. Most practical of those are happy to describe the experiment and outcome; most academic of those refer to the theory and method.
There’s a few studies about an idea or theory, that is challenged by studying a phenomenon. I haven’t seen very many of these. There’s been two cases where someone wanted to add some concept to a model and then proved the concept can be found and that it has an effect. But the most interesting case so far was the one where the researcher found an interesting phenomena and the available theory didn’t explain it, then by triangulating theories (if that is a term) they went to seek a new explanation for this special case.
I hope to belong to the latter group. I’m not sure if my presentation was able to convey that idea very clearly (yet); and that brings me to my second thought for today:
I increasingly feel success in academia is about communication and ability to sell your idea to your audience. I think most people presenting here are smart and have smart ideas, but not everyone is able to communicate them clearly, or put their point across in a simple or “lay-man intelligent” way. I think this is the area I need to focus on next year, both in written and spoken form. I don’t think my ideas are very novel (at this point of my career anyway) but if I present them clearly they should have a better chance to be heard and even believed, and so a better chance to be effectual.