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

White Supremacy in the Age of Terror
Social Science Matters

March 29, 4:30pm  |  Bernie Dallas Room, Goddell Hall

What does the anthropology of white supremacy have to say about the Global War on Terror? Junaid Rana, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will discuss the concepts of racial becoming and racial infrastructure as part of an ethnographic description of everyday life in a working class Pakistani neighborhood in New York. 

2015 PEP Fellow Paul Collins discusses Neil Gorsuch's SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings in National Media including the Washington Post and Slate

Paul M. Collins, 2015 PEP Fellow, is co-author of a column in the Washington Post discussing the idea of giving U.S. Supreme Court justices staggered 18-year terms rather than lifetime appointments. He is also co-author of a Slate essay on why Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court whose confirmation hearings have been held this week, should be more forthcoming in answering questions about previous cases decided by the court. Collins says court nominees feel constrained by the experience of Judge Robert Bork in 1987 who was ultimately rejected by the Senate after he answered many questions during his confirmation hearing. See more from Collins on the Gorsuch confirmation hearings in Roll Call, and on WBUR/Radio Boston and Background Briefing with Ian Masters.

2016 PEP Fellow Thomas Zoeller is quoted in Salon about the potential for NIEHS budget cuts

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, comments in a Salon story about the potential for budget cuts at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIEHS studies the health effects of pesticides, chemicals and cancer-causing compounds and has a budget of about $770 million in the current fiscal year. A key area of research funded by NIEHS involves endocrine disruptors. Zoeller says while its budget is relatively small, “NIESH is one of the least funded institutes” within the NIH and if the agency sees a 20-percent cut, that gives the new director a lot of power in setting the research agenda. 

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, says the European Commission's Revised Proposal on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Limits the Ability to Protect the Public from Endocrine Disruptors

2016 PEP Fellow Thomas Zoeller, an internationally recognized expert in the health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, with the Washington, D.C.-based Endocrine Society, has expressed disappointment in the European Commission’s revised proposal on defining and identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals, citing unnecessarily narrow criteria for identifying them. Read more at: Phys.org

PEP Steering Committee Member Linda Tropp is Featured in NY Magazine on the Reduction of Prejudice through Meaningful Contact Between Groups

Linda Tropp, PEP Steering Committee Member, is interviewed in New York Magazine about contact theory- the hypothesis that when members of different groups interact in meaningful ways, trust and compassion increase, and prejudice decreases. Tropp and colleague Thomas Pettigrew (UC Santa Cruz) conducted the largest meta-analysis on contact literature, and found much support for the reduction of prejudice through contact interventions. Tropp notes that these positive effects are less likely to happen if majority group members do not believe that inequalities between the groups are legitimate. Yet, she also mentions findings that suggest that positive intergroup contact can cause majority-group members to be more likely to agitate on behalf of oppressed groups. 

2016 PEP Fellow Stephen Sireci meets with Nguyen Kim Son, President of Vietnam National University, to discuss educational testing

2016 PEP Fellow Stephen Sireci meets with Nguyen Kim Son, President of Vietnam National University, to discuss building bridges between VNU's and UMass's testing centers. While in Vietnam, Sireci delivered workshops on test development, test validation, and computer-based testing for Vietnam National University and the Center for Testing in Vietnam. Press release available here