Academic Engagement in Public and Political Discourse: Proceedings of the Michigan Meeting
86 Pages Posted: 9 May 2017
Date Written: May 1, 2015
This report and the conference it summarizes are an examination of how we, as academics, practice our craft; how we work to make it more relevant to broader publics and responsive to pressing societal problems. In May 2015, more than 40 speakers (including 4 University Presidents) and 225 registrants attended a three day conference at the University of Michigan to focus on four key themes: (1) What is engagement and should we do it? (2) What are the ground rules for public and political engagement? (3) What models have worked, and what can we learn from them? (4) What are the obstacles to engagement, and how can they be overcome? The contents of this report are about the kinds of research we conduct, but even more, it is about the public meaning and goals of that work. Ultimately, it is about who we are as a university and what it means to be an academic in a society facing complex scientific, technological, and social challenges. We come to this discussion driven by a deep concern that the academy is facing a crisis of relevance.
Keywords: Research, Education, Public Engagement, Role of the Academic
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