Let’s Be Heard: Read but Not Heard?

Read but Not Heard? Engaging Junior Scholars in Efforts to Make Political Science Relevant

By Cheryl Boudreau, University of California, Davis

LetsBeHeardIn her article in Let’s Be Heard, Cheryl Boudreau asserts, “Political science as a discipline must overcome many obstacles to demonstrate the broader relevance of its research to the public.” She elaborates by stating that the discipline’s professional norms (including those that guide personnel decisions in academic departments) provide few rewards and often impose costs for spending valuable time attempting to effectively communicate findings. She states that these norms impose a major obstacle to communicating political science’s value. Furthermore, this climate particularly inhibits the discipline from engaging junior scholars in efforts to make political science more relevant. Junior scholars often pursue innovative research with significant real-world implications, but they have no incentive to reach out to the public or to policy makers. Indeed, it is not uncommon for junior scholars to believe that they should be read but not heard.

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