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Workshops address using data and social media in public scholarship

By Kim Urquhart | Emory Report | Feb. 14, 2013

The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) and the Center for Women (CWE) are offering workshops to support faculty as they develop their voices as public scholars.  

"In a climate where the continued relevance of higher education is itself a topic of public debate, it's more important than ever that we put words into action and facilitate that dialogue," says Shannan Palma, program coordinator for the Center for Women. "Through the Public Scholarship workshop series, the CWE and the CFDE are training faculty and graduate students on how to have those conversations."  

"Presenting Data in Public Scholarship" on Monday, Feb. 18 at 11:45 a.m. in the Dobbs University Center Room E 338, will look at how scholars make complex data and numeric information accessible and meaningful for audiences of non-specialists. The workshop will offer advice from faculty experienced in making an impact with data-rich messages in the media.

"This session is aimed at scholars who are interested in countering a culture of rhetoric and ideological posturing by contributing reliable data to public conversations," says Palma.

Presenters include:

  • Drew Linzer, assistant professor of political science and keeper of Votamatic.org, on forecasts and polling analysis for national elections;

  • Michelle Lampl, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology, director of Emory Center for the Study of Human Health, and co-director of the Emory-Georgia Tech Predictive Health Initiative, which uses bioscience data to create a new model for understanding and maintaining human health;

  • Jeff Rosensweig, associate professor of international business and finance, whose writing and research in global trends lead to frequent keynote lectures to business and non-academic audiences and frequent quotations in national business media.

"Our next session will be for scholars who are interested in using social media as a venue for speaking to the public," says Palma.  

"Social Media and Public Scholarship" on Tuesday, March 26 will examine how social media might challenge the work of scholars. How do social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and the "blogosphere" help scholars make an impact with their work beyond the academy? In this session, held in the Center for Ethics Room 162 at 11:45 a.m., three scholars with experience and expertise in using and examining social media as a platform for public scholarship will discuss those opportunities and issues.  

Presenters include:  

  • Bonna Wescoat, professor of art history and blogger on her field research in classical Greek art and architecture, including "The Parthenon Project" at blogs.emory.edu/parthenonproject;

  • Roopika Risam, doctoral candidate in the Department of English, an active participant in Twitter discussions and debates on the intersection of the academy and the public realm, who is involved in national discussions about Twitter and academe;

  • Shannan Palma, PhD alumna of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, staff member in the Center for Women at Emory, and expert in social media engagement for thought leadership.

Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided. Participation is free and no registration is necessary. For more information, visit cfde.emory.edu or womenscenter.emory.edu.  

Past workshops from the Public Scholarship series are available on the CFDE's iTunes collection.

"Ongoing themes from the workshops include: What are the benefits of public scholarship? What are the risks?," Palma explains. "Once you've made the decision to speak to a wider audience, how do you go about finding that audience? How can you benefit from your colleagues' experiences?"