De Bock, Harold



Dearest Gear+’ers,


Thanks to the moron #45 across the Atlantic the world finds itself having to deal with a world power of which its leadership can’t even spell the world ‘science’ and believes in the fake illusions of creationists and the not so fake fortunes of oligarchs and big businesses.  Rather unsettling and creating somewhat of a tendency at my end to imitate an ostrich.


I completed my fifth long-range motorcycle tour through the backcountry of the US in September, this time following the old Great River Road along the mighty Mississippi River all the way to where the road ends – a couple of hours riding to south of New Orleans Louisiana – in a swamp on the Gulf of Mexico – with a weathered old sign saying: You have reached the southern-most point of Louisiana, no more pavement The itinerary back to Bloomington Indiana included the most dangerous motorcycle road of the US, the Tail of the Dragon on the western side of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee (lots of videos on YouTube) – a 20 mile curvy & hilly narrow mountain road with 318 curves. Great riding. Riding tjru the American boonies and having had the most unworldly personal and environmental encounters with poor and rural America – I understand where that support for #45 is coming from. It isn’t over yet.



Nevertheless, among us sane scientists: may 2018 bring your health happiness!


All the best from Clary and Harold



Dear audience research fellows,


The current White House horror story has all of us, no doubt, occasionally wonder whether we are watching an episode of the famous American series Twilight Zone or that it is real what we see happening – the latter probably sometimes causing ostrich-type reactions to the real and fake news coming from the former leader country of the free world.


Last October, the Indiana University Media School honored me with its Distinguished Alumni Award; I earned my Ph.D. there in 1974.


The ceremony offered me the opportunity to address the challenge American Journalism Education is facing today and to use a personal multi-country audience research anecdote to document that also in social sciences research scientific principles do matter. Indiana is Trump-country, vice-president Pence came to that office from his position as Governor of the State of Indiana. So there must have been a spy in the audience to monitor the liberals at IU - who knows I am blacklisted now J.


IU has made available two videos of the award ceremony – which you can access through these links. One is a video CV including, the other features the remarks I was asked to present – and the audience research anecdote will most likely speak to your research hearts and conscience.


IU’s video CV:


My (audience research) remarks:




PS. And yes, I did do another long-range motorcycle trip, this time following the historic Great River Road along the mighty Mississippi River all the way to where the river ends in a swampy area on the Gulf of Mexico two hours riding south of New Orleans Louisiana where a weathered sign says: You have reached the southern-most point in Louisiana; only swamps from there.   And I survived the most dangerous motorcycle road of the US, the Tail of the Dragon in the Smokey Mountains, 318 curves in 20 miles and not a flat yard on the Tail.  But that is another story.