Sunday, June 14, 2009

Economists, the unfreindly presentations

If you're not an economist and you've ever sat in on an academic economics talk, the experience can be a little unnerving.

I have been to a few economic presentations in my day, both as UC Irvine and the World Bank, that have gotten a little out of control in the badgering the presenter department. While it may sound heartless, looking back on it, I think it might just have been the optimal presentation method, given the material presented.

Brad DeLong is trying to defend such a method of interrupting the speaker during a talk. I think a good way of summarizing his point is that research is an interactive process. Passively sitting through a presentation and waiting for the end to ask questions may be more friendly, but it does little to improve the learning of everyone.

No comments: