Following on from my recently-announced plans to establish some regular features on this site – which I have begun to unveil with my inaugural posting of (hopefully) useful free stuff – I want to ask for some input about what you’d like to see.
In particular, I want to start writing some regular posts that make direct use of my actual knowledge and skills. Broadly speaking, my background is in the behavioural and social sciences, combined with some legal studies. I want to start posting some regular reporting, evaluation and application of research and theory from those areas. I have written a bit about political psychology on here before, and I’ve talked about issues to do with cognitive biases, communication strategies, etc. I haven’t tended to present any of my own research or statistical analyses, but my understanding of those issues has fed into some of my commentary.
Starting with that vague outline of the boundaries of my expertise, does anyone have suggestions about what you might like to see me write about? I gave some thought to applying my scientific training to talking more generally about science that affects political decisions (e.g., climate science), but that’s stretching outside my area and is already done very well on several other web sites (and poorly on several others).
I would welcome any suggestions, either in the comments here or by e-mail. You might have some general ideas, or even some specific questions about political behaviour, communication, statistics, etc. that you would like answered. In fact, one of the ideas I am considering is opening a weekly thread for readers to post questions – I could pick one, and prepare an answer to be posted at the end of the week. But I could use some brainstorming to get the ball rolling.
P.S. As an aside, this seems an appropriate time to make a comment about my pseudonymity, which I’ve never really addressed before. Although I have seen some people associate posting under a fake name with cowardice or an unwillingness to own one’s opinions, I disagree with that view. In my case, I choose to blog under a pseudonym because my employer has some fairly detailed and rigid policies about making public statements – if I attached my identity to my online writings then I would have to indicate when I am speaking based on my professional expertise, disclaim when my views do not reflect the opinions of my employer, etc. In a practical sense, it is just easier to leave my name off my writings and get on with saying what I think. This means that I don’t have any grave concerns about what would happen if I was “outed” – but this is why you won’t see my real name on this site, or the others I contribute to. But you also won’t see me write under any other pseudonym, so all of my opinions are still out there to be scrutinised.