My current work in layman’s terms

I just had an epiphany on what my current work is actually about. Not the stilted academic version, but the explanation in layman’s terms. There are three elements. Obviously, as always, I am focusing on environmental pollution. The second broad area is that of decision making, and the illusion of rationality. But right now, with my work on pipelines, it is much simpler. While reading the testimony of former TransCanada employee and whistleblower Evan Vokes (what a name, eh?), I realized how much there is actually on the record on social action leading up to big, collective decision making, and how much of it I have seen or read in the past, particularly with regard to the oil & gas industry. And that is the kind of stuff that should be on record in the academic literature. We do not have to guess as to the underlying reasons of corporate action & communication. We certainly should not always hesitate to speculate about their intentions, and assume some kind of rational optimization at the aggregate level. At the surface, the discourse seems oriented toward environmental safety, but it really does not need a lot of scratching to reveal a lot more complexity.

Julian Barg


For attribution, please cite this work as

Barg (2021, April 24). Julian Barg: My current work in layman's terms. Retrieved from

BibTeX citation

  author = {Barg, Julian},
  title = {Julian Barg: My current work in layman's terms},
  url = {},
  year = {2021}