Robert Dingwall

Robert Dingwall is a consulting sociologist, providing research and advisory services particularly in relation to organizational strategy, public engagement and knowledge transfer. He is co-editor of the SAGE Handbook of Research Management.

Research on Research

With the advent of the new Research on Research Institute, our Robert Dingwall notes that while research on research fills a gap in the world of knowledge. However, it is important not to confuse it with the research enterprise itself or to assume that this will benefit from being made so planned, rational and evidence-based that the result is to squeeze innovation out of the system.

1 week ago
349
Presenting at academic conference

The Academic Conference – and its Discontents

Individuals find it harder to cover conference costs – and departments or research groups have fewer resources to support them. It is not hard to see why there is a sense of grievance. On the other hand, it is not so easy to see what can be done.

4 weeks ago
351

Social Precognition and Sociology: The Case of Resistentialism and ANT

In the last 20 years or so there has been much excitement, particularly in science and technology studies, about Actor-Network Theory. One of its most distinctive features is the way in which it ascribes agency to material objects. Perhaps we should not be crediting Bruno Latour or Michel Callon with the original insight – but an English humourist, Paul Jennings.

2 months ago
543
Slavers and traders inspect slave

Understanding the Slave Trade

Our Robert Dingwall says he has long thought that sociologists should read more history. It might correct some of their sweeping generalizations about the emergence and development of Western societies. This reflection has been reinforced by a recent book, ‘A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution.’

5 months ago
160

Reflections on the Death of Doris Day

Ruminating on the late Doris Day – and in particular her rendition of ‘Que sera sera’ – our Robert Dingwall draws a comparison with the Greek Stoics , Western educational trends and the restraint that was once a feature of sociological inquiry.

5 months ago
38

Whatever Happened to Conservative Social Thought?

In the wake of Brexit, Robert Dingwall asks a series of probing questions about the eclipse of Conservative Social Thought at universities, such as when did the social sciences last have a serious engagement with the institutions of the bourgeoisie, even though by income and status many of us would belong to that class?

6 months ago
38
David Hume and Adam Smith

Why is Social Theory So Boring?

The roots of sociology lie among a group of engaged, engaging and vibrant people who often risked their well-being, or even their lives, to advance their ideas. So what happened to suck much of the life out of the discipline?

8 months ago
87

The Civic Responsibility of Ethnographers

What duty do social scientists have to report illegal activity that they witness as part of their fieldwork? If you answered quickly, you may not have thought about the issue all that deeply.

10 months ago
61
Charles Ponzi

Academic Morale and Ponzi Schemes

The pool of PhDs and postdocs has expanded far more rapidly than the long-term career opportunities in higher education, a situation Charles Ponzi would have recognized- and which Felicity Callard captured with a late-November tweet.

11 months ago
76

Reflections on the Centenary of the Armistice

At the 100th anniversary of the end of World War, Robert Dingwall asks how has English sociology asked questions about the experiences and the legacy of the war — or if it even has broached those issues.

11 months ago
84
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