Is IR Really a Science? Let’s Find Out

1 June 2009, 0244 EDT

Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber alerted me to the fact that 3 Quarks Daily has instituted a quarterly award for the best blog post in the areas of science, politics, arts and literature, and philosophy.

Starting next month, the prizes will be awarded every year on the two solstices and the two equinoxes. So, we will announce the winner of the science prize on June 21, the arts and literature prize on September 22, the politics prize on December 21, and the philosophy prize on March 20, 2010.

About a month before the prize is to be announced we will solicit nominations of blog entries from our readers. The nominating period will last approximately one to two weeks. At the end of this time, we will open up the process to voting by our readers. After this period, we will take the top twenty voted-for nominees, and the four main daily editors of 3 Quarks Daily (Abbas Raza, Robin Varghese, Morgan Meis, and Azra Raza) will select six finalists from these, plus they may also add a wildcard entry of their choosing. And finally, a well-known intellectual from the field will pick the winner, runner up, and third place finisher from these, and will write some short comments on the winning entries.

Just for fun, the first place award will be called the “Top Quark,” and will include a cash prize of one thousand dollars; the second place prize, the “Strange Quark,” will include a cash prize of three hundred dollars; and the third place winner will get the honor of winning the “Charm Quark,” along with two hundred dollars.

Well, I don’t know if posts here at the Duck or on other IR blogs would widely be considered science, politics, arts and literature or philosophy (though frankly, I suspect some of PTJ’s might count as all of the above.) But the way I see it, IR is a science, which means IR blog posts should qualify for next month’s contest.

So, since we haven’t yet gotten around to establishing our long-discussed Duck of Minerva “Top Quack” award for IR blogging, if it strikes your fancy head on over to 3QD to nominate an IR blog post of your choosing in the Science contest before June 21. It will be interesting to see which disciplines are ultimately represented among the science awards.