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On academic research, policy-relevance, real-world impact, and knowledge dissemination

I’m passionate about sharing my research (and I’m very passionate about my research as well), so whenever I see online discussions about the topic, I almost always jump on. Unfortunately, I have very little time to write right now about this topic, but the quote and subsequent conversation between Mark Carrigan, Javier Stanziola, Eleonora Belfiore and Tim McCormick all really hit the nail in the head.

Yes, disseminating knowledge itself doesn’t necessarily mean that our knowledge (and research) will have real-world impact. It does, however, open the possibility to probabilities that it can, in fact, have an impact. In my view, I would rather share my research with the world in hopes that it can then have an impact, than to keep my research findings jailed in a non-accessible, highly-jargon-laden book.

My PhD advisor always told me he wanted me to conduct empirically-sound, methodologically-rigorous, theoretically-grounded, policy-relevant research. That’s the kind of work I strive for my own students to conduct. That is why I am on Twitter, on Facebook, on Pinterest. I use social media to be a bit more of a public intellectual. I couldn’t care less to have my research locked away, I want my work to be used to improve environmental conditions worldwide.

These are just very brief, drafty musings that I just carved in 10 minutes, but do feel free to chime in on the comments section.

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