There's nobody here but us chickens.

Sunday, June 01, 2014


I've been writing and curating The Occupational Digest for over three years now, time that has flown by.

It's been a voyage of discovery: discovery of valuable journals previously unknown to me, of inspiring presenters at the Division of Occupational Psychology's annual conferences, of new findings and rigorous investigations that I've been lucky to cover across our more than 200 reports.

We've always strived to walk a line that informs experts while bringing psychology to life for a general audience, and at times I think we nailed it, in posts about disagreeable men winning the 'earnings war' or how negative mood can kick-start the creative process or - our most popular post - how tiredness leads to more online time-wasting.

I take satisfaction in our move towards more systematic coverage of issues, through an increased focus on review and - where possible - meta-analysis, plus our 'Further Reading' references that provide the interested reader with a route in to a deeper understanding of the topic.

Most of all I'm pleased with the collaboration between this blog service and that of our parent, the Research Digest: sharing tips, co-hosting content, discussing the future. The Research Digest is a fantastic fixture of the science blogging sphere, virtually an institution, and it's been fantastic to steer a new venture such as the OD - a specialist-yet-mainstream evidence-based site - using the RD's success as our guiding light.

So I'm very excited that from next month I'll be contributing my BPS writing fully to the Research Digest.

The psychology of the workplace will remain a core part of what I do, and it will be great to communicate what I find so exciting about this area to a new audience. Together with this, I will begin to cover other areas of psychology, a return to the kinds of things I tackled at Mind Hacks (in the book and occasionally the blog) and in my research career in cognitive neuroscience. And I'm eager for the chance to get in front of the Research Digest's much larger readership, in partnership with a new full-time blog editor.

If you've been following the Occ Digest via twitter, or through the blog on rss, then please do follow @researchdigest and if you don't already.

If you prefer accessing content by email, the subscription for the Research Digest email is here.

This site is now on hiatus, although it will remain as an archive for the time being. Thanks for reading, and find us at the Research Digest.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Birthday update

Resurrected for a day!


Um, birthday plans are looking ropey, due to the weather. The contingency plan is the following:

1. Arrive at my place from 12.30 onwards. Still bring picnicky stuff, we will do an indoor picnic and other fun stuff.

2. At some point, we may then stretch our legs out to a nearby pub, probably The White Horse on Brixton Hill around the corner.

I will confirm on-blog and on Facebook later today....

Friday, December 22, 2006

More in a Series of Fortunate Events

Today was a landmark day, a little sad; I said goodbye to my research unit and my position as a postdoc. The place and people prised their way into my heart and, unlike many of their patients, I will never forget them.

But every event has its echo, and this one carries backward - to an interview and offer last month - and forward, to a new job in the new year. More details as I get them, loyal readers.

Tomorrow is also a landmark day; we move into a house that we own.

The day after is Christmas Eve (you might know that one), with all the busyment that follows.

All in all, 2006 is making a big exit.

Speak in... 07?

A rant on progressive social programs

Not mine, but a quote I mined:

It might be right to say that the "true" cause of poverty and lack of life chances is ignorance, malnutrition, antisocial behaviour etc, but as Chris Dillow often says, you don't cure a pedestrian with a broken leg by sending the bus backwards over him.

From the comments to this provoking post.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mad tidings we bring?

Something to do with the combination of dark nights, fairy lights, jingly sleigh-bell music and heavy-rotation advertising going on in the background means there's a palpable whiff of greasy hysteria in the air. A feeling that everything's about to shut down and hibernate, so you've got to get your oar in now while there's still time. It's all bells and tinsel and unhinged grinning urgency. No wonder Die Hard was set at Christmas. Watching Bruce Willis crashing through windows and machine-gunning terrorists would have seemed downright boring if he'd been doing it on pancake day.

Charlie Brooker at Comment is Free

A Series of Fortunate Events

Part One. Disa passed her PhD viva with flying colours. She's the top squirrel in the park!

More to come.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I will pay to do your work for you.

Speaker: Luis von Ahn is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University.
Snippet of Abstract: "Tasks like image recognition are trivial for humans, but continue to challenge even the most sophisticated computer programs. This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. Traditional approaches to solving such problems focus on improving software. I advocate a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower using computer games."
Awesomeness: Pretty awesome.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Overhead online

On whether university economics skews you politically rightwards:

I never was taught basic economics (Latin and Greek were thought to be much more useful), but the logic of a rightward shift seems pretty straightforward to me.

First, you are taught how to conjugate a verb. That would be Latin 101.

Metella est mater. Quintis est filius et ambulat in hortum. Hic, haec, hoc. (This is all I can remember)

Then you spend the next 5 years learning all the 20,000 exceptions to the rule. That would be real Latin.

Similarly, Econ 101 is for libertarians, while economy is for, huh, real economists. The libertarians never get past the Esperanto-like first grade version of Latin.

They only learn the first bit: how markets work. They never get round to the second, far more frustrating bit: markets don’t work all the time, and can indeed fail disastrously. The invisible hand often needs guidance.

Jasper Emmering at Crooked Timber.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Leaving the test centre at 9am Saturday morning... I can drive - in theory.