About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Big day today - and an open thread

Well, as of today I have PhD number two OFFICIALLY, having now graduated (in absentia). I'm thus finally out of the kind of limbo where the thesis is all approved and everything (since November) and I sort of have the shiny new degree ... but not technically coz I'm waiting to graduate. This life-changing event entails that I can now, with a clear conscience, and without reservations, demand to be addressed as Dr Dr Blackford.

Thursday afternoon is a fairly solid teaching block for me. Once that was over, I gave a talk to the Humanist Society, here in Melbourne, on religious vilification law, notably the notorious Catch The Fire Ministries case and its implications. They treated me very kindly, and the gig itself was enjoyable. I seemed to get the audience pretty fired up (as it were).

Wazzup with everyone else?


Steve Zara said...

Congratulations! I don't know how anyone has the stamina to do two PhDs in one lifetime. I walked out of my PhD viva in a daze, barely knowing where I was. "Never again" I thought. Mind you, I felt the same after the BSc and MSc.

Blake Stacey said...

Double congratulations!

(My only doctorate is still the one I got on an envelope. Sigh.)

Wazzup with me? Currently, I'm playing with a set of bacterial metabolome data I downloaded yesterday, seeing if I can duplicate the results in a journal article I read, and maybe run a few tests they apparently failed to do. I've also been futzing with various pieces of video-editing software, to see if I can do something useful and edifying with the footage I recorded of the Westboro Baptist Church's recent protest at Harvard.

Russell Blackford said...

I sometimes think I'm making too much fuss about the double PhD thing. But it feels a bit as if I've suddenly got two at once. The first was so long ago, and has had so little relevance to most of my career, that most of the time it doesn't feel as if I really have it. But it does feel that much more real now that I have the much-more-relevant-to-my-work second one, and the fact is that it is, well, the second one. If that makes some kind of scrambled sense.

Coathangrrr said...

So can we call you Doctor Doctor Blackford now?

Dan said...

Another great talk Russell. I was trying to think of a scenario in which a member of a church congregation could possibly be charged for vilification against his own church or its members based on a sermon.

I do think that atheists are vilified all the time and yet no laws are in place to aid them. The American public would rather vote a gay person in office than an Atheist. Its not so extreme here but not so far from that either.

clinteas said...

Congrats,Dr Dr Blackford !!

John Pieret said...

Congratulations, congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Dr Dr.

I didn't realize there was a Humanist society in Melbourne; I guess I hung out at all the wrong places when I was on that part of the planet.

Rick said...

"Doctor, doctor, can't you see I'm burning, burning!" -- Thompson Twins