Lind R. Tropp, professor of social psychology and a member of the Public Engagement Project (PEP) on campus, has edited a collection of essays for her new book “Making Research Matter, A Psychologist's Guide to Public Engagement.”
This volume gathers well-known experts to discuss how researchers can impact a broader audience by lending their scientific expertise to pressing social issues, current events and public debates.
With pointers on talking to the media, testifying as an expert witness, dealing with governmental organizations, working with schools and students, and influencing public policy, the book offers 12 essays to help social scientists forge the vital link between scholarship and public engagement. Contributors include prominent scholars with wide-ranging areas of expertise, including academic psychologists, government officials, and leaders of professional organizations.
Tropp contributes the essay “Becoming an Engaged Scholar: Getting Started,” and fellow UMass Amherst faculty member sociologist Amy. T Schalet contributes “The Media: Helping Journalists Use and Interpret Your Research.”
Other essays discuss engaging a non-scholarly audience, influencing lawmakers, translating research for legal cases, finding common purpose with law enforcement, building trusted partnerships with schools and more.
Tropp is an incoming director of PEP and Schalet is an outgoing director. Through campus-wide programming, faculty fellowships and networking opportunities, PEP has helped faculty develop skills and capacities they need to inform public policy, enrich public debate and contribute to the public good.
Tropp received the university’s Distinguished Academic Outreach Award for excellence in the application of scientific knowledge to advance the public good. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, she has received scholarly awards from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the International Society of Political Psychology.
“Making Research Matter” is published by APA Books, part of the American Psychological Association.