Monday, April, 06, 2015
by Andrew J. Hoffman
In February 2015, I wrote an essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education that argued that academic scholarship “had become fixated on generating lots of pieces of knowledge –bricks- and far less concerned with putting them together into a cohesive whole." I argued for more engaged scholarship, moving beyond a singular focus on citation counts and measuring success based on making academic knowledge useful to the general public and policy makers in order to inform important societal debates like climate change, nanotechnology, nuclear power, GMOs, autisms and vaccines and so on. In short, it’s time for academics to step outside their ivory tower and meet the public who are starving for education and proven data in a confused and often poorly informed social media or TV world.
Following the publication of the essay, I commissioned a cartoonist to capture the thrust of what I was trying to say. Here is what she created.