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

Ari Fertig, Manager of University Editorial Relations at The Conversation

Presentation and Training

Thursday, March 9th at 12 pm

Hadley Room, UMass Campus Center 

The Conversation is an independent source for informed commentary and analysis, written by the academic and research community and edited by journalists for the general public. Our session will address why academics should write for the general public, how academics can learn to pitch to media outlets, and the benefits of reaching a wide audience through our model. Lunch will be served. For more information, click here.

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


2015 PEP Fellow Michael Rawlins discusses the science behind long term global warming prediction in The Conversation

Michael A. Rawlins, 2015 PEP Fellow, writes in The Conversation about how scientists can predict long-term global warming while daily weather forecasts can be unreliable. He says scientists measure different things to determine weather patterns and look at predictions of the amount of greenhouse gasses and temperature variations in oceans to determine how the overall climate will change. 

Lee Badgett, PEP Steering Committee Member, is quoted on the sexuality pay gap in Quartz

PEP Steering Committee Member Lee Badgett is quoted in Quartz on the sexuality pay gap. Badgett found both gay and bisexual men earned less than heterosexual males but lesbian women sometimes earn more than heterosexual women. She says this is because lesbian women are being compared to heterosexual women, a group that is the lowest paid, while gay men are compared to a group that enjoys the highest pay. In addition, Badgett says, some lesbians go into jobs generally held by men where salaries are higher to begin with.