This is a mostly academic biography, so I’ll spare you tales of early life and loves.

I trained as a philosopher at the University of Warwick and at the University of Wisconsin at Madison under the inspiring but sometimes terrifying supervision of David Miller. I then lapsed into empirical work by getting an M.Sc. and then a Ph.D in cognitive science and natural language processing at Edinburgh University’s late, great, Centre for Cognitive Science, where my curious views about neural networks and semantic memory were indulged by Richard Shillcock and David Willshaw. These curious views, some of which are now known as neural word embeddings, are apparently cool again. Told you so.

Just about then I met Joanna. J. Bryson. I can’t generate an adequate short description of all the things she gets up to so you’d better read her web pages. Dr. B. had a Ph.D. to finish at MIT so I took a visiting fellowship in Daniel Dennett’s Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts. But just as a promising interdisciplinary career in the cognitive sciences beckoned, something unexpected happened. Gary King tempted me into political science by offering incredible intellectual company at CBRSS (the precursor to IQSS, but with smaller whiteboards). I also got to work on an awesome cherrywood desk. Although I went on to work at the Weatherhead Center with Iain Johnston and Yoshiko Herrera, I managed to keep the furniture.

Dr. B. got a job at Bath and I went to work with Ken Benoit at Trinity College, Dublin. I also helped run Wordmap, an enterprise software company. I worked mainly on the EU 5th framework project Parmenides where I learnt a lot. Most importantly, how to pronounce it. Apparently you stress the ‘i’.

I was then a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, where Cees van der Eijk and I were the Methods and Data Institute, spinning in near earth orbit around the School of Politics and International Relations. When we weren’t teaching research methods, I spent a lot of time informing people he’s pronounced “Case”, and Cees spent the time being too polite to notice. At Nottingham I also spent hung out with the fine folk at the Human Rights Law Centre, working on the International Criminal Court’s Legal Tools project.

But fun as all this postdoc-ing was, I needed to get a proper job. (Also, Nottingham). So I did, in the Department of Political Science at the University of Maastricht, where I was Assistant Professor in Research Methods and helped design and deliver their Research Masters. I taught on every methods course they had and wrote them five more to make sure they wouldn’t run out.

News of my arrival on the European mainland traveled fast, and a sweet offer arrived from MZES at the University of Mannheim to mix text analysis research and data project infrastructure. Since the latter used to be an out of hours activity I was left with free time. In an effort to avoid filling it with exercise, and for the amusement of the locals I decided to figure out how to speak German properly. I didn’t manage it - it was Baden Württemberg after all - but they did seem to be amused.

Cosmo (2012) has famously argued that in Mannheim you cry twice, but Dr. B. found that to be closer to a monthly estimate, so when a job came up in Princeton’s Politics Department, I took it and for about five years we lived the suburban dream with a four bicycle garage, a shady garden with apple trees, and the New Jersey Strategic Ant Supply.

But as any nearby German will also confirm “all things have an end; only a sausage has two.” So, just as almost all the Politics faculty realized I worked there, we got two great offers from the Hertie School in Berlin.

After a brief Ostalgic sojourn in an East German tower block right in the ‘mitte’ of Mitte, we poured our American house into a European-sized apartment in the uncool part of Prenzlauer Berg. Now we spend our time searching for good dürüm, the exact meaning of ‘digga’, and municipal building projects that are younger than me. Prenzlberg spends it morphing into an SUV parking lot surrounded by draws from an infinite exchangeable vegan restaurant process.