Busy, Busy, Busy

I guess everyone got to catch up with my blog over Thanksgiving -- thanks for the nice email about it.

This last week and a half has been like too much of academic life -- doing tons of reviewing. The only way that science is evaluated is for other experts to say whether they are convinced by the arguments and data a scientists makes. Every paper you write gets reviewed by at least three people, so obviously you can expect to review a lot more than you write, though you get little credit for that.

I've been reviewing journal articles, EU projects, Mark Wood's PhD dissertation, ... And also, I've been reading articles and discussing them with the other fellows at the KLI and/or with the members of Ludwig Huber's Cognitive Biology lab at University of Vienna. Dick Byrne, another famous scientist, visited Ludwig's lab last week. This time I got to accompany him on seeing Ludwig's marmoset and pigeon facilities. Then Saturday night I saw where the dogs are tested (these are people's pets that the people bring in, there aren't any dogs kept except two pets of postdoctoral researchers who live with them at home!) Why I saw that Saturday night is it is where a bunch of the researchers are taking ballroom dancing lessons from one of the scientists, Lisa, who is also a professional dancer and dance teacher. The lesson was amazing, far the best I've ever had, and it was free! She's just doing this on Saturday nights for her friends. The Viennese dance very close, as you waltz you are stepping between the legs of the other person. This is necessary to do all the fast sweeping turns they do.

Like with food, it turns out dance has a season. Balls start in very late January but are mostly February.

Tomorrow I have to catch a 6am flight to Vancouver, and then Sunday I have to catch a 9am flight to Germany, where I will be until Saturday at the Göttinger Freilandtage. Freilandtage means "field work days", but of course I don't do field work, unless you think of a simulation environment as a field! But I am giving a talk anyway, and I got to practice that and discuss my work with a few people Monday night.

The Freilandtage should be great -- there are many famous scientists there speaking. The topic this year is "Primate Behavior and Human Universals".