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Good Scientific Practice 2019

21st October, 2019
Campus Am Neuen Palais, Potsdam
Organization and Report by Zairong Xiang

Rationale and Background

For the new cohort of the RTG minor cosmopolitanisms that started in Oct 2019, the workshop “Good Scientific Practice” took place shortly after the PhD fellows had joined the RTG. It was based on the experience and feedback of the first edition of the workshop for the first cohort (2016-2019).

The workshop “Good Scientific Practices in the Age of Uncertainty” for the first cohort, which was held in spring 2017, was situated in the political climate of “post-truth” or “turn to the right” marked by the assault on critical intelligentsia, the precarization of intellectual labor, the conformist tendency of institutional policies regarding research, and the depoliticization of science, and asked what constituted “good scientific practice.”

Likewise, the 2019 edition of the workshop was organized to closely address socio-political issues as social sciences and humanities are the main component of the RTG researchers. As the world continues to move in worrying directions, scientific practices are in need of urgent decolonization, pluralization, and de-canonization, and perhaps also re-enchantment. The 2019 “Good Scientific Practice” focused on a variety of “shamanic” practices, knowledge-systems of their own right that first and foremost challenge the categorical certainty and neat-ness of “science”, “religion” and “art” while continuing to provide the new PhD fellows with pragmatic guidance on various aspects of academic life especially on the question of publication by invited senior scholars.


Schedule and Contents


21st October 12:00 – 14:00

Publish and or Flourish? TEA Workshop on Academic Writing

Workshop led by Prof. Dr. Kyoo Lee

Kyoo Lee, a scholar-writer at the City University of New York and co-editor of philoSOPHIA: A Journal of TransContinental Feminism (SUNY Press), offered insights, both practical and futural, into academic writing including the nuts and bolts of journal publishing; a Visiting YBU Distinguished Professor at Yanbian University and an International Fellow at Cambridge University this year (2019-20), she is set to launch a host of collaborative TEA (TransEurAsian) research projects and introduced some of the key concepts.
21st October 15:00 – 17:00

Publishing without Perishing: New Directions in (Academic) Publishing

Workshop with Alissa Jones Nelson and Kocku von Stuckrad

Dr. Alissa Jones Nelson, publisher, editor, and writer talked about the various aspects of (academic) publishing, including some advice on how to turn a PhD thesis into a monograph. She also talked about the publishing world beyond traditional academic arenas as well as, closely related, the so-called #alt-ac careers.

Prof. Dr. Kocku von Stuckrad, professor of religious studies at University of Groningen mainly focused on introducing the Counterpoint Knowledge initiative, which he co-founds as different forms of knowledge production and non-traditional platforms.



21st October 18:30 – 20:30 Lecture

A Philopoetics of Techno-Shamanism: Reanimating the TEA Work of Nam June Paik, a Good Scientific Philopoet
Lecture by Prof. Dr. Kyoo Lee

Nam June Paik, (not just) “the founder of video art,” is a poet philosopher who through rigorously artistic practices radically altered the very sense of space and time, which he rendered more profoundly, extraordinarily, connective, “wireless.” For the workshop, he was revisited—through “Q”s transcoding of the work of that techno-shamanistic TEA (TransEurAsian) imagineer who “saw” the internet two generations ago.

Response: “Good Shamanic Practice” by Prof. Dr. Kocku von Stuckrad


Afterthoughts and Suggestions

In the future, it is advisable for the “Good Scientific Practice” workshop to continue addressing both critical and practical aspects of research, especially the practical aspects of publication including how to write and submit a journal article, attend an academic conference, and balance journal essay publication and the main PhD thesis. These questions are often neglected at PhD level but are crucial to best design one’s time and career path, be it academic, or as Dr. Alissa Jones called it, “alt-ac” possibilities for social sciences and humanities graduates, especially in an age of shrinking job opportunities in academia.