This blog is born from a desire for open dialogue between academia and the public. The intention is to move beyond the usual, specialised ‘expert’ interventions academics are used to be called for, but which actually kill a lot of the public scrutiny and debate.
The desire for this blog grew out of two observations. For one, the academic publishing sector is evolving. Pretty fast, it goes into a direction, which makes writers work for the publishers without any guarantee neither of required services nor of a defence of author rights. Publisher’s fatal policies include, for example, unilateral decisions to transform peer review practices, to impose exorbitant prices, and to reduce the free exchange of information (for more information and debate see here and here). This pushes the need for other platforms of communication (in geography, examples of this are Antipode and ACME), but which also overcome the massive time lapse between research results and publications. The other reason is slightly more positive. In the course of developing a project, I typically compose files (for more on this practice see this wonderful chapter by C. Wright Mills). These may contain various fragments, of text, images, visual material, music and so on that may or not become a project. Very little of this actually transpires in the final product I send to academic journals in the end. I use this blog to share these files and -hopefully- stimulate debate while research is ongoing, rather than let it all cumulate in this one and only book or journal article. Read this also as a desire to communicate with colleagues and students who I otherwise would not able to see or talk to directly that often as I wish.