I still intend to write a post with my thoughts on newsocprof’s discussion of public sociology and the tenure process, which jt also addressed in a response post in The Public and the Private. That will come later, after the flurry of end-of-term grad advising and family business (including my son’s college graduation and attendant in-law visit, out of town trips, and help moving).
In the meantime, I thought I’d mention this week’s public sociology issue for me, which is less philosophical and more mundane. The Governor is finally giving a press conference next week about his intentions with respect to the big racial disparity report released by the Governor’s Commission in February . We Commissioners have been invited to the press conference, which is being held in the city 80 miles away at 2 in the afternoon. As far as I can tell, we are being invited to stand behind the Governor while he talks. I’ve never met him; I don’t know whether he will even bother to talk to me. I’ve decided to go, even though this will take up at least four or five hours of my day, lead me to reschedule a bunch of grad student appointments, and make it that much harder for me to get time to get any work done before the relatives show up next week. It could turn out to be a total waste of my time. But I find that I hate to miss it.
In other public sociology news, two national NGOs jointly released their reports on disparities in drug arrests last week showing that the big city in our state is one of the nation’s worst, so I got calls from reporters. A bunch of people said to me, “I heard you on the radio.” I said, “So what did I say?” I never did find out. I did not realize he was taping, although I guess I should have. Apparently what he put on the air was OK. You never know. That’s another fun part of public sociology: there is nothing like a good quotation out of context to make you sound like an idiot, or worse.