Why Public Engagement?

As citizens and as scholars, we have an interest in today’s debates about public policy, conversations about the state of the world, and imagining a different future. Read more about the Public Engagement Projects' Mission and Vision

Upcoming Events

September 20, 2016 5:30 pm

Room: Cape Cod Lounge
UMass Amherst Campus

Keynote Panel: Women, Incarceration and Carceral Feminism

This panel of local and national activists and scholars will discuss what this increasing rate of incarceration means for women, children, and families, including how to address violence against women in the age of mass incarceration. More information

PEP Director Dr. Amy Schalet writes in The Conversation about how academics seeking tenure find that the only writing that counts toward their goal is peer-reviewed research.

PEP Director Dr. Amy Schalet, writes in The Conversation (August 18, 2016) about how academics seeking tenure find that the only writing that counts toward their goal is peer-reviewed research. She argues that academics can and should push to see that public communication is also valued. Dr. Schalet says the American Sociological Association is calling for a conversation among scholars and administrators on how to include public communication when assessing a faculty member’s work. She says such a change would make critical research, often publically funded, more available to the the public in a timely manner and would help teach faculty members how to clearly communicate using the news media and other non-academic outlets.

2016 PEP Fellow, Peter M. Haas writes a letter-to-the-editor to Nature

the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

2016 PEP Fellow, Peter Haas gave a presentation on Evidence Based studies of Effective Science panels to a UN side panel event organized by the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) on July 20, 2016.  In his presentation, Haas recommends creating a new committee which would help organize information and guide policymakers to attain the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  Haas published his recommendations for attaining the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in a letter-to-the-editor in Nature on July 28, 2016.

2015 PEP Fellow, Sylvia Brandt comments on a recent study of the long-term impact on health of the 1952 London smog on NPR's Marketplace

PEP Fellow Sylvia Brandt​ was mentioned in an article on the Marketplace on July 08, 2016. She comments on a recent study of the long-term impact on health of the 1952 London smog that lasted five days and is believed responsible for 4,000 deaths at the time. The study focused on asthma and the smog impact on small children under age 1 and even those still in utero. Sylvia Brandt says there are measurable costs to having children with asthma. She says mothers of these children quit the workforce 18 percent of time, costing them earnings and retirement income.

2015 PEP Fellow, Nilanjana Dasgupta is interviewed about research on how to overcome the gender gap in science, technology engineering and mathematics jobs

PEP Fellow Nilanjana Dasgupta, psychological and brain sciences, is interviewed in Morning Edition on June 15, 2016 about research on how to overcome the gender gap in science, technology engineering and mathematics jobs. She suggests that women in these fields should work together in teams rather than have their numbers diluted in overwhelmingly male teams. Having female colleagues helps boost confidence and self-esteem, Dasgupta says. 

2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer comments in a news story about Sleep’s Roles in Memory and Learning

Fellow 2015, Rebecca Spencer comments in The Scientist, on June 13, 2016. She says a new study that looks at factors such as heart-rate variability during sleep may provide new insights into how sleep and memory are connected. The new study looked at electrical activity in the brain during sleep but also measured variations in heart beats. “There is a good possibility that this additional measure [heart-rate variability] may help account for discrepant findings in sleep-dependent memory consolidation literature,” Spencer says. She also says sleep researchers may be depending too much on sleep physiology from the central nervous system.

Advisory Board's Lisa M. Troy co-authors paper Enhancing Evidence-Based Public Health Policy: Developing and Using Policy Narratives

Advisory Board's Lisa M. Troy, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts Amherst co-authors a paper with Dr. Kietzman, Research Scientist, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Assistant Researcher, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, which was published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing on June 1, 2016. This paper describes the development and use of policy narratives to bridge cultures and enhance evidence-based public health policies that better meet the needs of older adults.

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