On the 3rd of January, we published the first post on InDecision. We had modest hopes for the blog: we thought maybe a couple of hundred people would read it. Seven months and 46,000 views later, we’ve had over 22,000 visitors from 147 countries – far beyond what we could have imagined. From the US and Europe to Eritrea, via Singapore, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Mongolia – decision making science is everywhere.
In the past six months, we’ve featured 22 Research Heroes whose thoughts have been incredibly inspirational and encouraging to young researchers – we certainly feel privileged to always be the first ones to read the interviews. We’ve also brought in practitioners’ views on how the knowledge created in our field is being used in the sometimes obscure “Real World”, as well as looked at what life looks like when you leave academia after your PhD.
All three have spoken about the importance of academics and practitioners working together, whether in form of more field studies or thinking about the wider implications of our research. At the same time, it seems clear that the relationship is not without its problems – lack of a common language, different incentives and goals as well as practicalities all present challenges for deeper engagement between the two worlds. From our part, we’ll continue to highlight stories from both sides of the fence, in the hope that we can at least some way bring the sides closer together.
Our vision for the blog remains unchanged: to create a platform for young researchers to talk about their work and reach audiences beyond the realm of academic conferences and journals. Not everyone will have their work featured in the New York Times, yet many of us early career researchers do fantastically interesting work that deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
Despite the opportunity, it’s been challenging to persuade people to write in public – chronic lack of time means prioritising, and engaging with the world by writing for a blog is not yet hugely incentivised by the academic world, yet as researchers we’re increasingly faced with requests to demonstrate the relevance of our work. What better way to do that than by showing the world what we’re up to in our ivory towers?
The other challenge is that many young researchers don’t want to expose themselves in the run-up to entering the job market – writing in public is seen as a risky. “What if I don’t know everything and say the wrong thing? What if someone steals my research idea?” Writing about your work is also very personal, and it’s hard to put yourself out there. However, a couple of brave souls have stepped up, and in the next couple of months we’ll be seeing content curated by them on their area of expertise within decision making psychology. (If you’re reading this and want to get involved, drop us an email!)
At the same time, it wouldn’t be right for us to ask of others what we’re not willing to do ourselves, so in the next couple of posts you’ll get to meet us, the editors. We’ve been asking a lot of questions from everyone, yet not told you much about ourselves, so it’s time to subject ourselves to some scrutiny.
Even though we originally intended the blog for a purely academic audience, enthusiastic feedback from the outside world suggests there’s a lot of interest in our work. While we’ll try to balance content so that there is something for everyone, we want to remain true to our mission and serve the interests of young researchers in particular, so our latest interview series is focusing on the editors of different journals in the field of decision making science. (Practitioners – consider it a rare glimpse into our world and the laws that govern it!)
We hope that you continue to enjoy the blog and, as always, welcome your feedback on how we can make it even better.
Elina & Neda