Friday, January 14, 2011

Two talks at once!

My task, apparently, is to give a talk to both audiences simultaneously. Those viewing my job talk will include “a specialist in your field” as well as committee member representing the breadth of backgrounds of the Human Sciences Section of the Max Planck Society. That Section consists of the following Institutes, which I have casually categorized:

MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
MPI for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale

MPI for Human Development, Berlin
MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig
MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands

MPI of Economics, Jena
MPI for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn

MPI for Foreign and International Social Law, München
MPI for Intellectual Property, München
MPI for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg
MPI for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg
MPI for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg

MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen
MPI for the Study of Societies, Köln
MPI for Demographic Research, Rostock

MPI for Art History, Florence, Italy
MPI for the History of Science, Berlin
MPI for European Legal History, Frankfurt/Main

You will note that I put my own institute, Demography, under the heading of sociology. Demography is in many way rooted in sociology, despite my belief that it should be a branch of biology. You will also note the preponderance of topics such as Law, Economics and Psychology, which have little theoretical overlap with evolutionary demography.
This is, in a way, a brilliant way of evaluating an applicant. Anyone who can describe their topic in a way which is simultaneously comprehensible and exciting to experts in one’s own field and experts in distant fields is at least a talented communicator. If they threw in some toddlers, who also had to like my talk, and maybe a few Tea Partiers, then it would be a real challenge.

1 comment:

A said...

You're welcome to try a practice run with Ronan (now classified as a toddler at 1+)...

Advance tip: if you can work in a game of "peekaboo" or a series of animal noises you are likely to please.