The meeting to discuss the papers was a big success, in the diversity and intensity of points of discussion, as well as in the fruitful interactions between participants. Several people characterised it as something unique in their professional and intellectual landscape, a place to raise issues that don’t get a (good) hearing in their ‘home’ departments. It seems we all went home with things to think about and with new connections to colleagues.
We ended the day with two pleasant highlights. First, in honour of the newest doctor among the participants, we raised a glass to Marinka Copier’s achievements. Marinka defended her dissertation just days ago, an event widely noted, in the science section of NRC (NL’s quality broadsheet) as well as in the gaming world. Keep an eye out for the published version!
Our second concluding task was to evaluate the day and brainstorm about possible topics to develop in future meetings. This was also a lot of fun (as sky’s-the-limit with creative people always is), and should keep us busy for the next little while, given the number of potential avenues to explore that came up. For me personally, this part of the day was also an interesting moment in terms of working out the balance between the aims of the collaboratory and VKS to be responsive to needs of researchers and to show leadership in the field. These ideas are being given careful consideration, as to how best to work them out. Not all will lead to meetings, but might be given shape in different ways. I’m hoping to write a bit more about some of these soon, and to develop activities with others too. With at least three more years for the collab, there is really a great opportunity to develop this potential.