Scientists! Engage with society. Perform better academically.
Rezwan Razani - April 08, 2013
View the study here. Apparently, social engagement correlates with institutional recognition, and the activities themselves won’t hurt your career. So start talking about fusion on the interwebs!
Most scientific institutions acknowledge the importance of opening the so-called ‘ivory tower’ of academic research through popularization, industrial collaboration or teaching. However, little is known about the actual openness of scientific institutions and how their proclaimed priorities translate into concrete measures. This paper gives an idea of some actual practices by studying three key points: the proportion of researchers who are active in wider dissemination, the academic productivity of these scientists, and the institutional recognition of their wider dissemination activities in terms of their careers. We analyze extensive data about the academic production, career recognition and teaching or public/industrial outreach of several thousand of scientists, from many disciplines, from France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. We find that, contrary to what is often suggested, scientists active in wider dissemination are also more active academically. However, their dissemination activities have almost no impact (positive or negative) on their careers.