Slides for a presentation given at the ECSITE 2013 Annual Conference on science communication. I spoke in a session convened by Alex Verkade (De Praktijk) and Jen Wong (Guerilla Science). The other speakers in the session were Bas Haring on ‘Ignorance is a virtue’, and Jen Wong on ‘Mixing science with art, music and play’.
We all have them: intellectual blind spots. For scientists, one way to become aware of them is to listen to people outside the academic bubble. I discuss examples from social media and serendipitous fieldwork. Social media helps academics to connect to diverse audiences. On my research blog ideophone.org, I have used the interaction with readers to refine research questions, tighten definitions, and explore new directions, but also to connect science and art. In linguistic and ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana, I have let serendipity shape my research. Unexpected questions and bold initiatives from locals led me in directions I would never have anticipated on the basis of expert knowledge. Ultimately the involvement of lay people led to methodological innovations, changes of perspective, and most importantly, a host of new questions.
Hyperlinks for material mentioned
- Khawaji’s random thought: at the bottom of this posting
- The ‘synaesthesia across cultures’ pilot
- The blog posting that became a Science comment
- Background info on the Mawu people
- The funeral dirges of the Mawu: more information & sound sample
- Sound samples of ideophones
- My MPI homepage
Convenors and speakers
- Alex Verkade: De Praktijk, Discovery Festival (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven)
- Jen Wong: Guerilla Science (London)
- Bas Haring: Professor, Public Understanding of Science (Leiden)
- Mark Dingemanse: Research Staff, MPI for Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen)
— Diana Issidorides (@Issidorides) June 8, 2013
— Renée Göthberg (@ReneeGoth) June 8, 2013
— Ecsite 2013 (@Ecsite2013) June 8, 2013
Thanks for the wonderful tweets — and feel free to get in touch!