It has been a while since I wrote anything meaningful for this blog and keeping it up to date has become increasingly challenging. However, I am not asking for you to all get the small violins out. Of course, I have been busy at work and developments at the RAF Museum continue to move forward towards the Service’s centenary next year. The Museum’s Research Programme continues to go from strength to strength, and we have some interesting lectures come up in May and June (details here, here and here). Also, we have had some great responses to our call for papers for the ‘Air Power in an Age of Uncertainty’ conference that we are running in September in conjunction with the Air Power Studies Research Group at King’s College London. More details on that soon.
One of my highlights recently was the opportunity to attend and speak at the Second Sir James Rowland Seminar at the Australian Defence Force Academy. This event is the second of planned series of one-day seminars organised in conjunction with the RAAF Air Power Development Centre. I was asked to provide to commentary on a couple of papers as well as give an overview of the state of air power studies in the UK. This was an excellent opportunity to think about the state of a subject that I spend more time writing about rather than its intellectual development. Thinking about this has suggested a couple of small future projects on the intellectual evolution of the field that I shall be thinking about in the background to other research. The seminar itself was absorbing, and it was good to see a mix of service personnel and academics getting together to talk about air power and bodes well for the future maturation of the field in Australia. It was also good to meet new people whom I know through social media but have not met in person.
Thinking about air power, last year I established From Balloons to Drones, which is an online platform that seeks to provide analysis and debate about air power history, theory, and contemporary operations in their broadest sense including space and cyber power. I think such sites are important for the intellectual development of the air power field and other subjects for that matter. Peer review publications have their place, but sites such as From Balloons to Drones can offer another avenue for disseminating academic research. The site continues to evolve, and we regularly add articles, research notes, commentaries and book reviews to the site. However, we are always seeking new contributors to write for the site. If you are interested in getting involved, then you can find out how at the submissions page here.
The other project that I have been involved with is The Second World War Research Group. The Research Group is an international organisation that brings together scholars researching the broad period of the Second World War. The group aims to promote innovative research on the conflict and its global aspects and acts as a forum for bringing together new perspectives on the conflict; publicising recent and current research into the conflict and its global impact; encouraging collaboration in research across the scholarly community and across academic disciplines; and providing an organisational hub for conferences, seminars and other events relating to the conflict. As an Assistant Director, I am responsible for the Research Group’s website and its social media presence. I recently finished redeveloping to the website, and you can find it here. We have started to post regular updates, and you subscribe to the site here. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook here and here. You can expect regular updates on future developments from the Research Group.
Anyway, that is where I am, and I now need to get back to some research and writing, but I will try and provide more regular updates soon.