Research and Public Engagement in the Age of ‘Alternative Facts’

March 9 panel to discuss training and incentives to engage with the public

Campus scholars and administrators will discuss what UC Riverside can do to better train, support, and incentivize researchers in their efforts to engage with the public on Thursday, March 9, from noon to 1 p.m. in Humanities 1500.

The event, “Research and Public Engagement in the Age of ‘Alternative Facts,’” also will address what researchers should be mindful of as they expand their public engagement.

“For many years, faculty and graduate students have been eager to communicate their research to policy makers and the public,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate dean of the School of Public Policy and a co-organizer of the meeting. “This role is especially valuable for universities providing critical and independent perspectives on various issues ranging from climate science and evolution to health care and race relations,” he added.

Ramakrishnan, Georgia Warnke, director of the Center for Ideas and Society, and James Grant, assistant vice chancellor for Strategic Communications, will make introductory remarks. Panelists are: Kevin Esterling, dean of the Graduate Division; John Heraty, chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel; Ameae Walker, vice provost for academic personnel; and John D. Warren, director of media relations for the Office of Strategic Communications.

Warren said the forum will provide an opportunity to discuss Strategic Communications’ role in supporting researchers who want to be more publicly engaged. This includes an initiative to increase faculty editorial-page submissions.

“In recent months, interest in public engagement has grown dramatically, and we are eager to explore how we can provide greater institutional guidance and support,” Warren said.

For information about pilot training programs on op-ed writing, public hearings, radio interviews, and more, visit

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