We’re nearing the end of the spring quarter’s final examination week and things are really heating up here at SSRC. Fortuitously our Senior Research Methodologist, Dr. Rachel Lovell, has returned from maternity leave just in time to spearhead the launching of several major new initiatives. Please join me in welcoming her back and in congratulating her on the birth of her daughter Olivia.
While I certainly hope you enjoy our feature articles this week (and they are really neat), today I want to call your attention to the bulletin’s righthand column (a.k.a., “the sidebar”). Indeed it’s a thin column, and yes it appears in smaller font. But it’s teeming with important information, including a description of who we are and what we do, a solicitation of your incredible scholarship, a blurb on our poster printing services, and information on how to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’re deep into social media, if you haven’t noticed, and we’d like to help you put the wide variety of social media platforms to use in crafting, conducting, and sharing your research with the digital and analog worlds “out there.” Getting your research into the public sphere is a substantial part of our mission, and we take it seriously. Plus we’re really good at it. A few of you have contacted us already, as a result of reading last week’s bulletin, seeking help in “translating” your research into a multi-media package for public consumption. We’ve still got a couple of spaces left to fill. What are you waiting for? Another invitation? Well, then, let me accommodate ….
Every other week at SSRC we hold a staff meeting. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill “let’s waste time chatting and pumping our own egos” kind of meeting. We all come to the table for a 60-minute “idea factory” session. Spitballing. Think-tanking. Ideas are the principal currency in our shop, and we’re always looking for new ones, for new spins on old ones, and old (i.e., current) ways to accomplish future ideas. What’s a future idea? It’s an idea for something that can’t be accomplished with today’s “state-of-the-art” infrastructure. In a word, it’s a terrific though infeasible idea. Those are the ideas we like best because they challenge us to develop the tools necessary for making the idea feasible. I refer to this process as “transcendent concept formulation.” Do you have a research-related idea that’s truly ahead of its time? If so, we’d love to hear about it. More than that, we’d love to work with you to create the conditions that allow the idea to be actionable. Get in touch with us. All it takes is an email or a phone call. Let’s do some transcendent conceptualization together. Now how can you send regrets on that invitation?
Greg Scott, PhD
Director, Social Science Research Center