Almost exactly a year ago, I was on my way to Boston to visit my friend Rachel. Now , I am on my way to Boston again, visiting Rachel again but also attending a workshop on structural equation modeling.
Last year when I visited Rachel, we talked a lot about research. She was a year and a bit(?) ahead of me in the PhD program at Melbourne, and was and is the awesomest superstar dementia researcher ever. She’s also an excellent excellent tutor and presenter, who inspired me to improve my presentation skills, way-back-when.
But all that aside – I suspect we’ll talk about research again. Back in 2016 my focus was mostly on the transition from PhD to unemployment to post doc; now I’m a year into said post doc and have another year to go, so will probably require less counselling about that particular trauma. Instead, this feels like a chance to review the first year-and-a-bit in the US…
In order to not bore Rachel to death though, I’ll do some of the reviewing here – and inflict my various war-related projects on you, dear reader!
In October last year, I was finalizing and submitting two manuscripts about war. One was a theory paper, arguing about how (moral) psychology currently studies war versus how I think it should study war (and why); and one was an empirical paper about how moral judgments differ across war and peace contexts.
The first paper got rejected. The reviews were good and encouraging, but the criticism was such that I thought I should wait until I had more data before trying again. I now have more data, and will be resubmitting (to a different journal), hopefully by the end of November.
The other paper was/is based on the first two studies of my thesis, and is co-authored with Simon. After being rejected a few times (sometimes following useful reviews, sometimes following useless ones), we eventually got a revise and resubmit from EJSP, where it is currently under review again. Have also posted a pre-print, here!
Over the following few months (end of 2016, beginning of 2017), I continued to work on The Big War Project  with Geoff, and on a smaller project on war commemorations with Brock. I presented the first two studies of the latter project at the Morality and Conflict pre-conference to SASP in Melbourne in April 2016; shortly thereafter we added an additional study, and submitted the paper (pre-print here). It’s been under review for a loooong time. I hope the reviews are favorable (obviously!); but even if they are not I already have ideas for a follow up.
As for The Big War Project… we’ve run 11 studies, 8 of them will be in the final manuscript and the rest in the extremely extensive supplemental materials . I absolutely love this paper and its crazy comprehensiveness – I just hope whoever reviews it will forgive the length! Part of it can be blamed on my wonderful audience members: I presented the first 6 of these studies to research groups in Amherst and Boston in February, and we ran the extra studies partly to address some of their questions and comments.
The research talks also lead to both new and revived collaborations; and subsequently 3 grant applications. One has already been rejected (just the Templeton OFI, nbd), the other two will get rejected in due course .
Finally, I presented a re-analysis of the last two studies of my thesis at SASP in April as well; since then I’ve made some changes based on feedback from the audience and Simon, and am also on track to submit this manuscript at the end of November.
So, in conclusion… if you only count actual published articles as productivity, I have achieved nothing war-related in the past year. If you also count conference presentations, invited talks, and progress being made on both research projects and manuscripts, I think things are coming along fine . See you next week!
 Well, when I wrote this post on the train on Thursday. “Now” it’s Monday, and I’m back in Philadelphia!
 This is not its official name – I just don’t yet know what to call it. Working title is JWT, but that’s not exactly helpful, is it.
 I know that’s ridiculously long – but I think it’s worth it, because the idea is really new and fascinating and the studies are thorough and sensible and the overall message is (I think) important.
 I’m actually pretty hopeful about one of them; but knowing baserates it doesn’t make sense to be too optimistic.
 This is true, but I also completely dread going on the job market. It helps a little to remind myself that my post doc is actually on a completely different project; this war-related progress is being made “in my spare time”! But I won’t burden you with all the details about my actual job as well…