La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Valley, PA

I just returned from this summer's PolMeth meeting at Penn State. Burt and Suzie did a great job hosting the meeting. This was my 5th Polmeth conference, second as a faculty member. This year the format changed to allow more people to attend and participate. I heard rumblings among some of the younger core of polmethers about the new format. Understandably, some of the core group of methodologists resent the presence of those they perceive as interlopers who make the conference too big and impersonal for their tastes. True, this year's presentations sometimes lacked the humor, inside running jokes, and quick wit of presentations from earlier conferences. At the same time, as one of the applied methodologists (or interlopers) who attends the meetings (and by the way, pays my Polmeth dues regularly), I'm grateful for the opportunity to attend what amounts to a 4 day seminar on cutting edge methods. Further, it seems that the old core is busy replicating the smaller polmeth experience with small meetings in the bay and NYC areas, which should placate those who resent the growth in popularity of the summer meeting.

From my perspective, if you want applied methodologists and the discipline in general to adopt more sophisticated methods (i.e., you want to proselytize to the masses), you have to let the masses join your flock and attend your church.

posted by Michelle @ 1:27 PM,


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