Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interdisciplinarity will cost you!

Apparently, there are kindred souls out there: a conference dedicated to Interdisciplinary Social Sciences is taking place for the eighth time, in Prague. They are going to talk about pretty much everything under the sun: such is the nature of holistic approaches to understand the world.

It costs some to talk to the like-minded though: one is to cough up 450 US dollars upfront before one even opens one's mouth to air out one's cherished thoughts on "the psychology of the social" or "social sciences addressing social crisis points". It is to the editorial board of the Economist that I am leaving the sheer delight of tracing the price list for a conference in a Central European university posted in US dollars to the former Communist allies' pro-American sentiment (just remember the sellout of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis in 1938). I will instead meditate entirely on the irony of the sheer astronomicity of the price for an impecunious PhD student like yours truly, whose main academic interest is exactly interdisciplinary research. Time to think of funding alternatives.

That said, I am also curious what is the most common disciplinary background among the participants, as, from my own experience, not all faculties are equally interested in intellectual cross-pollination. In fact, to date I am yet to meet a single lecturer in my school with academic pursuits reaching beyond their department, let alone faculty.  

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