I wrote a blog post about the current state of the NAFTA renegotiations.
Andy Bell, Kelvyn Jones, and I just had a methods paper come out in the journal Quality and Quantity. We explain why analyzing clustered data using fixed effects models is (almost) never a good idea, while group mean centring one's covariates is essential in multilevel models.
I attended an excellent workshop in Uppsala as part of the Three Worlds of Trust (TWT) project I'm involved in. After the workshop, which had about 20 attendees, the five of us who are core members of TWT stayed behind for a couple days of project meetings.
I taught my usual two-day short course on Analyzing Comparative Longitudinal Survey Data at the RECSM summer school.
I acted as the external examiner ("Opponent") for a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Gothenburg. The discussion, which as per usual in Sweden was a public event with an audience of something like 100 people, was interesting and fun. The candidate, Marina Povitkina, has done some great cross-national work showing that democracy and the "quality of government" interact to produce better environmental outcomes. For example, see this paper on climate change.
I attended the Annual Meeting of the International Social Survey Programme in Guadalajara, Mexico. I was largely there in order to help revise and write the new module on environmental attitudes that will run in 2020. And as part of the same trip I spent time in Mexico City working on a paper with Gerardo Maldonado, from CIDE.
I gave a seminar to the Spatial Modelling Group in my old department at Bristol, the School of Geographical Sciences, on Correcting for Measurement Error in Multilevel Models. (This is ongoing joint work with Diana Zavala-Rojas, of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).
I gave a seminar to Umeå's Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE), on Trust and Public Support for Environmental Protection: Evidence from International Surveys and Survey Experiments.
I gave a seminar to the Institut für Soziologie at the University of Graz (Austria), on Recent Developments in Multilevel Modelling.
While in Graz, I did some work with Markus Hadler on the Environment module planned to run in 2020, as part of the International Social Survey Programme. I'm very excited about the new module, which we'll be talking about more later this spring at the ISSP annual meeting in Guadalajara.
I attended a small conference in Köln about a likely journal special issue on "International Comparative Social Research." I was the invited discussant on a paper by my previous collaborator Alex Schmidt-Catran, who recently became a professor at the University of Mannheim.
I attended the third workshop of the Robert A. Pastor North American Research Initiative, held this time at the University of Ottawa.
As part of the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association, in Montreal, I was on an author-meets-critics panel about Carl-Henry Geschwind's wonderfully titled new book A Comparative History of Motor Fuels Taxation, 1909–2009: Why Gasoline Is Cheap and Petrol Is Dear.
I participated in a workshop in London, which has now led to a funding call from the UK's Economic and Social Research Council on Trust and Global Governance.
A short commentary paper written with Andy Bell at Sheffield and my old colleague at Bristol, Kelvyn Jones, came out in the journal Quality & Quantity. Kelvyn was a major -- maybe the biggest -- reason I learned so much about multilevel modeling while I was at Bristol. Andy was a PhD student there, under Kelvyn's supervision, and I examined his dissertation
I was formally installed as a professor at Umeå University as part of the institution's annual ceremony, or Årshögtiden. As part of that, I was featured in the local newspaper (paywall), particularly as regards how I ended up in Umeå. At the ceremony, there was a video presentation of each new professor, and you can see the one about me (in Swedish) here. To translate for non-Swedish speakers, the voiceover says: "Malcolm Fairbrother, like most sociologists, spends most of his working hours thinking ahead to the evening's grocery shop, and drinking coffee."
The middle of this month saw me formally begin my career as a professor at Umeå University.
I also started as a consulting editor for the American Journal of Sociology.
And I was one of three international examiners for a PhD completed at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, by Pablo Christmann. I first became aware of (and very enthusiastic about) Pablo's project when I was a visiting researcher at UPF in 2015.