Thanks to All for a Fantastic Unconference

On Saturday, we held the first in a series of unconferences on The Future of Careers in Scholarship at The Democracy Center in Cambrdige, MA. It was a beautiful day, we had a great turnout, and the event was a fantastic success. In the coming days, we will be assembling a summary of the various discussions that took place in order to continue that conversation and expand it to an even broader community. So, keep an eye on this space for updates about this event and future events — maybe in your area!

In the meantime, we wanted to thank the various people who contributed to making the unconference a success.

First, and most importantly, we want to thank the participants. The success of an event in an unconference format depends on the energy and good-faith efforts of the attendees, who set the agenda and generate the content. Everyone who came prepared to both talk and listen, and the results were fantastic.

Second, we want to thank the three seed speakers, who started us off by throwing some ideas out to the larger group: Sonia Hall, Jessica Ehinger, and Raquell Holmes. All three were interesting, and, just as importantly, fun.

Third, we want to thank the Democracy Center for use of a great space in a perfect location.

Finally, we want to thank the sponsors, whose support allowed us to keep the event affordable:

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The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (http://www.kauffman.org)is a leader in the promotion and understanding of entrepreneurship. They are currently seeking a Research and Policy Director to lead an interdisciplinary research program focused on understanding the conditions that best support entrepreneurs and the policies that can foster those conditions. For more information, visit http://www.kauffman.org/who-we-are/careers-at-the-kauffman-foundation/research-and-policy-director.

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The Society of Professional Consultants (http://www.spconsultants.org) is an organization that helps individuals establish themselves as independent consultants and helps established consultants to maintain successful careers. They are also offering a free 60-day trial membership to attendees of the unconference.

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Ronin Institute Research Scholars Gordon Webster and Alex Lancaster are Partners at the consulting firm Amber Biology (http://www.amberbiology.com), working at the intersection of biology and computer science. Their new book is Python for the Life Sciences.

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Ronin Institute Research Scholar Anne Thessen is the principal of The Data Detektiv (http://datadetektiv.com), which specializes in custom data analysis and inference in the biological and geophysical domains.

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Research Scholar and Board Member Steven Orzack is the founder of the Fresh Pond Research Institute (http://freshpond.org), which served as one of the inspirational models for the Ronin Institute.

First Ronin Institute Unconference

The Ronin Institute is organizing its first “unconference” on Saturday, November 5, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The theme will be “The Future of Careers in Scholarship“, and the event will be held from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at The Democracy center, located in Harvard Square, at 45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA. I hope you’ll join us!

For additional details and registration information, visit the event page on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ronin-institute-unconference-the-future-of-careers-in-scholarship-tickets-28163314231

You can also keep up with this and future events at the events page: http://ronininstitute.org/events/

Second Round of Conference Scholarships Awarded

Following the success of our first round of conference support funding, the board authorized that allocation of additional funding to support travel to academic conferences, as well as research-related travel. So, in addition to our first round of awardees, we offer our congratulations to Michael Clarage, Michelle Coughlin, Ruth Duerr, Vicenta Salvador, and Eleanor Wynn.

Smallbridge HallMichelle Coughlin’s award helped to support her trip to the UK to do research for the her next book, The First First Ladies, about the wives of America’s colonial governors. She sent along a number of gorgeous photos of the homes related to Penelope Pelham Winslow, who was married to Plymouth Colony Governor Josiah Winslow. It is great to be able to see the impact of the conference scholarship program.

Our next round of funding is scheduled for January 2017. In the meantime, we are raising funds to continue — and expand — this program. The members of the board have pledged to contribute an additional matching $1000 if we are able to raise $3000 for this program by the end of 2016. So, please consider helping us by making a contribution. You can donate online: select “Conference Scholarships” to direct your donation specifically to this program. To find out more, check out our donation page.

Introducing the Ronin Institute Newsletter: Kitsune

Happy New Year to everyone out there.

In December, the Ronin Institute published the first issue of Kitsune, a newsletter that will come out six times a year and will keep you up to date on the happenings at the Institute and in the world of alternative scholarship more generally.

That first issue is now available on the website here. If you would like to receive it in your very own inbox, send an e-mail to us at kitsune@ronininstitute.org, and we’ll add you to the list. You might also add kitsune@ronininstitute.org to your address book, so that your newsletter does not wind up in your spam folder.

We’ve got a lot of exciting people on the rolls now, and some cool programs in the works. Keep an eye on Kitsune, and you can stay up to date on both.

Ask a Cool Anthropologist

It’s a problem we’ve all been faced with. You’ve got a question, the sort of question only an Anthropologist can answer. But the problem is, all of the Anthropologists you know are just so . . . uncool!

Well, today, friends, I present the solution to your problem: Ask a Cool Anthropologist

This is a new feature from Cool Anthropologist and Ronin Institute Research Scholar Kristina Baines.

Want to know if it is more than a coincidence that Homo floresiensis was found in a country with 127 active volcanoes? Ask a Cool Anthropologist

Want to know if a refrigerator will really protect you from a nuclear blast? Ask a Cool Anthropologist

Want to know what that thing on your leg is? Yeah . . . you really should probably go see a doctor about that.