I’ve hesitated to write anything about this, mainly because I haven’t really believed my good fortune, but now that the paperwork is taken care of and we’re on to logistics: I’m going to spend three months next year as a visiting fellow at Microsoft Research Cambridge. I’ll be working in the Socio-Digital Systems group, but MSR has some great stuff going on in other areas I care about– the Science2020 project was run there– and of course Cambridge itself is insanely interesting.
My appointment will run from mid-January to early April, which should offer a couple months of relative cold, damp darkness– in other words, perfect weather for thinking seriously. And spending evenings in pubs.
It occurred to me recently that even though I travel a lot, and have been to England several times in the last few years, I haven’t lived abroad for any length of time since I was an exchange student in Japan. I was actually offered a history of science postdoc at Cambridge almost exactly twenty years ago, but turned it down to take another (longer) fellowship at Berkeley. That always felt like one of those choices that marked two clearly different paths in my life; but I loved Berkeley and met my wife when I was there, so it’s not like it worked out badly.
Still, it’ll be cool to finally make it to England.