… which is what she is doing right now. All boxes are packed, all participants have departed. The Joint Sessions 2013 are now officially over. One colleague asked me yesterday night what the incentive was for organising it. The answer is simple: It was a great, if sometimes exhausting experience.
If 600+ scientists follow current government advice, they should drink about 3000 litres of water over a five day period. Accordingly, roughly that amount was delivered yesterday by our partner Viva con Agua, leaving me slightly worried about the structural integrity of the floor, which is more attuned to support mildly obese academics. It’s really not easy being green.
Other deliveries include 300 metres of power cord and several and hundreds of kilos of books. While I always knew that running this show involves a lot of stuff, actually seeing all of it squeezed into one room is disconcerting and strangely exhilarating at the same time.
After a final briefing session for the many student helpers we have hired, we are as ready as we will ever be. In a little role playing exercise, I tried to simulate the behaviour of the average academic sociopath. While I quite enjoyed that part, I’m hoping that they will still turn up for work on Monday, and that you will treat them a little kinder than I did today (should not be too difficult).
In other news, we found a gallery of rather good panoramic pictures of Mainz on the local newspaper’s site. My favourite is the one of the weather vane on the cathedral. The fact that no one could be bothered to put the camera above the scaffolding adds a touch of charming amateurism.
I know that blogging is a wee bit monothematic at the moment, and frankly, I could not care less. So here are some pictures of Jasmin’s lair, which by now contains roughly 700 conference bags (to be stuffed from tomorrow), several dozen books, lots of other paperwork, the ECPR flag and a small British tea kettle, complete with UK plug and a set of adaptors. The latter items arrived today in that Dalek-like black box in the middle. Seriously.
In other news, it was a beautiful bright and sunny day in Mainz (more webcams here). We hope the weather stays this fine. If not, there is always that workshop on climate change 2.0.
How many votes polled the Front National in the 1993 election (12.7), and how much did they get in the first round of the Présidentielle 2007 (10.4)? Which party did control the German Foreign Office from 1987-1998 (obviously, the FDP)? What is the typical turnout rate in Slovenia (between 60 and 70 per cent over the last four parliamentary elections)? If you need answers to these and similar questions, i.e. if you work in Comparative or German/French/Whatever Politics the Political Data Yearbook has been your trusty companion since 1992, saving you endless hours you would have to spend digging up references in odd languages.
For twenty years, the Political Data Yearbook was published as an addendum to the ECPR’s flagship journal EJPR. Last December, it became even better with the creation of the Political Data Yearbook Interactive, a website full of flashy and, well, interactive graphs. While they are nice to play with, for me the real game changer are the download links: Everything on screen and some more is freely available as CSV/XLSX, ready to be imported into Python, R, Stata, or whatever might be your favourite tool for data mangling. No more hours keying in things data already were digital before they ended up on the page in front of you.
I wondered briefly if this is sustainable, then realised that Wiley is not going to lose any subscriptions to the EJPR because of the data base. Quite to the contrary: People will love this, gaining Wiley some open data kudos and almost free PR. I’m sure, someone, somewhere even uttered the dread word “win-win”.
To celebrate the launch of the Political Data Yearbook Interactive, Wiley is kindly sponsoring a reception at the upcoming ECPR Joint Sessions 2013 at the university of Mainz. Since my extremely capable people are in charge of the catering (handcrafted bubbly – locally sourced, obviously), this is going to be splendid. If you are attending the conference (or just happen to be in the sector), don’t miss it. Thanks to these new-fangled social media things, you can even register your intention to participate.
With just 12 days to go, we’re very excited to have you here soon. So is the local tourist board, which keeps telling us that you should book your excursion/tour for Thursday afternoon as soon as possible. So, if you haven’t done so yet, could you please make your booking? There are four options to chose from: two guided walks in the city centre, the (sparkling) wine cellars, and the New Synagogue tour. Go here for more information and the booking form.