Learning to care : encouraging public intellectualism with research narratives

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


Public engagement in matters of academic discourse is essential for both the validity of academic work and the agency and influence of general citizenry. The function of academia is the pursuit of inquiry for the general betterment of society. Facilitating meaningful communication between scholars and the public is a problem for a number of reasons, and it is not an exchange that we are currently stimulating with any degree of success. In fact, the perceived divide between academics and lay-people is expanding. Writers who utilize research narratives to frame topics of scholarly research offer a possible tool for encouraging effective public intellectualism. The work of Sarah Vowell and David Quammen represent successful examples of how research narratives can engage a broader audience in academic work.




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