Month: August 2014

Wellcome Trust Symposium on New Conceptual Approaches to Personal Medical Devices 18th-19th September 2014 Post-doctoral Suite, 16 Mill Lane, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Fuelled by the accelerating pace of technological development and a general shift to personalised, patient-led medicine alongside the growing Quantified Self and Big Data movements, the emerging field of personal medical devices […]

The event is aimed at early career researchers in the humanities (who may be also working across disciplinary divides such as in the arts and sciences) whose research connects to the theme of ‘being human in a digital age’. Ignite events challenge researchers to make their case in a short, succinct way by giving them […]

In a recent paper Tero Piiroinen argued that the intellectual axis of contemporary sociological theory has shifted from a concern with individualism and holism to what he terms dualism and anti-dualism. I’m not convinced as to the accuracy of this as a claim about the state of the field given the degree of sophistication which can […]

This is an interesting article by Talia on asexual agenda. I find this particularly insightful: I often wonder if sex-favourable asexual people are such a minority because their experiences often do not make sense in asexual discourse and so they don’t stay in (or even join) the community because it’s not useful to them. I’ve […]

I just came across a lovely point in Harmut Rosa’s book about the relationship between social change and musical innovation. Certain forms of music come to be seen as emblematic of the age but, as that age changes so too does the sensibility which is brought to bear upon that music: today certain forms of jazz music that, […]

I approached this book with a certain degree of ambivalence, curious as to the hostility one of my favourite sociologists has seemingly provoked in many of its readers. As someone fascinated by the sociology of sociology, it was exciting to hear that Christian Smith had written a book of this sort, even if it sounded incongruously polemical and […]

I realised when looking back over old notes that someone asked me to write this for them and then never published it. So here’s a quick post about curation I wrote a couple of years ago:  For all that digital technology offers the academy, it also presents new problems. The instant availability of information from […]

This post on things that universities should teach students is a lovely read in its own right. However the final point really stood out to me: That if they haven’t, at some point, found themselves struggling to put words to an idea that they feel strongly about but can’t explain adequately, then they’ve missed an opportunity […]

While reading Randall Collins for my other project, I was suddenly struck by how relevant it is for the sociology of thinking. I must engage with this properly: Do we not have agency? it is a matter of analytical perspective. Agency is in part a term for designating the primitives of sociological explanation, in part […]

In the preface to his Sociology of Philosophies, Randall Collins argues that intellectual networks hold the key to understanding ideas and their changes: “if one can understand the principles that determine intellectual networks, one has a causal explanation of ideas and their changes”. His point is to understand the way that a focus on networks, as […]

All science is becoming data science. Therefore data scientists have a lot of power in this regime [stifles a laugh] It’s a great time to be a data geek. This is an interesting aside made by Bill Howe of Washington University in an early lecture on Coursera’s Introduction to Data Science MOOC. I take this […]