While Michèle Lamont is visiting us, and talking about cross-disciplinary comparisons and interactions, I thought I would raise a question about questions.
As background, my first “real” job was in a government research agency. Seminars were part of the process, and the norm was that senior staff would open the questions. In this context, it was almost invariably safe to ask “What are the policy implications”. That’s still true for some of the seminars I attend, but in others (economic theory, for example), such a question would be at best a faux pas, and the all-purpose question might be something like “Does this work in a monetary economy?”.
So, what are the all-purpose questions in different fields (or are there fields without such questions), and what, if anything does this reveal about those fields?