Last Friday evening Babel's co-editor and co-founder (alongside Prof Lesley Jeffries), gave his inaugural lecture as professor of English Language and Linguistics on a topic close to his heart. Prof Dan McIntyre's research - from corpus linguistics to cognitive stylistics - has always leaned toward the methodical, scientific, and most significantly, the relevant. The latter quality is one that academics are pressed to prove these days, with the social 'impact' of research being sought and measured by the powers that be.
In some ways - and Babel is an example of this - linguistic research is wholly relevant to society, providing analyses of our communication and interaction. But, as Dan points out, there are ways in which the impact of linguistic research is not immediately tangible, and indeed, should not have to be. The public audience came from far and wide to hear Dan's lecture and the rapturous applause and successful knees-up afterwards, are testament to its 'impact'!
The full lecture and subsequent Q&A are available to watch on youtube, for those of you who missed it.