Last weekend I attended the annual conference of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago. It’s one of the largest national conference for political scientists and political science professors in the United States. Four straight days of wonky and stuffy professors talking about their research papers for hours on end… it was exciting!
James Warren at The Atlantic recently published a write-up on the conference from a non-academic point of view. He does a pretty good job capturing the inside world of academic political science conferences, with all its pros and cons… and occasional absurdities. A brief excerpt:
By the time thousands of political scientists departed Chicago on Sunday, there had been ample and at times stultifying talk of parameter stability, balancing datasets, quantifying behavioral outcomes, contextual cues and spatial variants. Thankfully, there was also mention of Barack Obama, the debatable impact of the Internet on youth voting, a claimed link between James Bond and “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” and, yes, the potentially revolutionary political role of fried chicken.
And that, my friends, nicely sums up the current state of the political science discipline, fried chicken and all. Read the article for the link between fried chicken and voting.