The blog is normally a one way street. I rant, you listen and depending on your viewpoint shake your head either “up or down” or “side to side” (that means agree or disagree in most Western cultures). How do I find the topics I rant on? Normally they come from my everyday experience as a journal editor, reviewer, conference attendee etc. Readers are welcome to pose questions or issues that they want advise on or to hear my public opinion (which is often milder than my private opinion albeit as honest).
Today’s rant: As we head into mid year meeting time in the USA (the majority of sections have midyear meetings in the January to April frame) I want to reflect on one topic of concern – sponsor involvement is picking plenary speakers. Several years ago at an Audit MYM the speaker was “chosen” (influenced by, suggested by etc) by the sponsoring public accounting firm. The speaker’s main job was being a lobbyist for that firm (technical title was Director of Government Engagement or the like and the position description provided did not mention the word lobbying) – he had no CPA, no audit experience, and was the head of the firm’s PAC (political action committee or funder of political candidates) – so what was he doing as the key note speaker of the Audit Section MYM? So as you set in your MYM this year, think about who the speakers are and how they got there! Ask questions and think critically.