On January 17-18, 2018, I was delighted to welcome the PASSIM team for our kick-off meeting in Norrköping, Sweden. Snow was in the air, but fortunately both flights and trains ran (more or less) according to schedule. A kick-off is a thing to itself: a very important time in the life of a project, an opportunity to discuss, plan ahead and form a group of individuals into a team.
One of the truly fantastic things about the ERC grants is the fact that they run for five years. Five years! It seems almost impossible to be able to work, to read, to discuss, and to write on the topic of your project for such an extended period. An eternity, almost. But time is a funny thing in research. We measure it constantly in our line of work. Nonetheless, the idea of unbounded time is neither realistic, nor desirable.
In fact, one could argue that a five-year project comes alive when you start to talk about and plan around its built-in constraints – the fact that you’ve promised to do certain activities and that these activities, when you start thinking about when you’re supposed to do them, suddenly make unbounded time seem very bounded. And a good thing, too, I suspect.
It’s always been an ambition of mine that I, together with any team members I was working with, would find a way to document the process of working as a team in an interdisciplinary project. I still haven’t quite figured out exactly how to do this, but I remain convinced that the documentation of the way in which we work, talk, disagree and form some sort of community during an extended period is worth studying as a form of self-reflexive exercise in its own right. Maybe this blog is one way of doing precisely that.
Welcome to PASSIM!