I just contributed a piece on citizens’ assemblies to the Crick Centre at the University of Sheffield in the UK. Its aim is to “study and promote the public understanding of politics” and to bridge the chasm between academics and non-academics. It’s no surprise, then that the subtitle of the Centre is “Understanding Politics”
I’ve always been struck at few of us disseminate our findings and work to the broader public. Clearly some scholarship (such as applied research) has more obvious connections to public problems than basic research. It is, however, still incumbent on faculty members, especially those in publicly funded universities, to explain what we do and to contribute to a civil dialogue, founded on reason and respect. Along with Canadian groups like Samara, The Crick Centre is an admirable effort to elevate our public conversation, both of which I am happy to be affiliated.