In this workshop, the SPEEDS UCC team collaborated with several partners including:
– Jonathan Healy, Healy Communications
– Jim Carroll, RTE Brainstorm
The rationale for this workshop was based on the recognition that public scholarship is an increasingly important element of our work as academics. Public scholarship involves communicating verbally and in writing with audiences outside of the university setting about our disciplinary interests, and how these relate to society, culture and politics. As public intellectuals, we have a responsibility for positioning our work and ourselves in broader contexts, and to engage in activities that make our research and ideas accessible and relevant to the public. These activities include: media appearances on radio and television, writing and featuring in newspaper articles, creative activities, and participation in public outreach events that are concerned with our political, civic, social, cultural and intellectual projects and interests.
While many are quite comfortable in communicating research to audiences beyond the academy, few have received any form of training in this sphere. This workshop focused on:
– preparing academics for communicating their social scientific research to the media, with a particular emphasis on digital media.
– helping participants to think about how to best frame research for impact.
– creating a pitch that best showcases research and its contribution to knowledge in a way that is attractive and interesting for journalists and audiences.
– thinking about the audience and expressing ideas in succinct and accessible ways
– offering direction on how to control and guide a discussion, to achieve clarity in delivering one’s argument, and getting one’s point across clearly
– practical advice on different kinds of interview styles and how to best prepare for challenging scenarios.
Article by SPEEDS participants include:
– Articles by Paul Burgess on the politics of Northern Ireland
– Commentary by UCC experts on homelessness, Prof Cathal O’Connell and Joe Finnerty, on how to solve the housing crisis
– Contributions relevant to occupational therapy by Dr Eithne Hunt
– An article by Dr Briony Supple, Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, on the value of art for stimulating critical thinking and reflection