Friday, November 03, 2006

How not to give an academic talk

(1) Begin by explaining that you intend to defend a position that is controversial at best and generally held to be completely discredited.

(2) Apologise that the evidence for your position cannot be shared with us, because it fills 50 files on your computer and cannot be explained in a one-hour talk. Besides, it's impossible to explain the evidence to people unless they have, like you, spent a lifetime working on the data in question.

(3) For the next 45 minutes repeat variations of: "So you'll have to believe me, okay? But really, the evidence is totally convincing. I just can't tell you about it."

Bonus points for using the sentence: "I've invented this data that doesn't exist".*


* To be fair, that one is probably attributable to the speaker's non-native command of English.

1 Comment:

Vinny said...

"I've invented this data that doesn't exist."

Wow. That was a tragic 'engrishism'.