Communicating that Research is Inherently Practical and Applied

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Exhorting academics to talk candidly and plainly about their research with broader publics is not exactly new. What IS new, though, in this recent op-ed piece published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, is linking it explicitly to the research-generation goal of a university, which most policymakers and publics seem to be in the dark about, or conflate with imparting particular “skills” for the job market, or “applied” research that answers a localized question in a particular setting (e.g., how can we get legislators in Wyoming to buy into man-made climate change?).

But the goal of research, and academics in general, is deeper than that, the article points out.

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How can we “translate” Sustainability effectively?

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At the close of my recent talk on “Organizing/Communicating Sustainably” at Central Michigan University, someone in the audience asked me, predictably enough, what hope there was for meaningful systemic change, given the preponderance of cultural, structural, and moral obstacles both in the U.S. and worldwide.

My response hinged around the very communicative concept of translation.

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Upcoming Talk at Central Michigan U.: “Communication and Social Action” Conference

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I am so thrilled to be headed to Central Michigan University next week, to deliver a talk at the 15th annual “Communication and Social Action” conference, organized by the Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts! My talk is tentatively titled “Organizing/Communicating Sustainably” — not very original, perhaps, given the title of this website, but representative nevertheless of my program of research, which explains my thrill.

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Engaging Students: CSR meets Higher Education

This post also appeared in CSRWire Talkback.

I had the good fortune of attending the recently concluded Water Summit 2012 in Milwaukee. A key theme that kept coming up, over and over was engaging youth.

Whether it was in references to the exchange program between American and Indian universities to promote aquaponics among water- and land-scarce communities, or connecting women-and-child literacy programs to indigenous water management systems, engaging future generations was salient throughout the two-day event.

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