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Emory University announces new center to build public trust in scholarship and research
Ken Carter giving TEDx talk

Opening in spring 2024, a new public scholarship center based at Oxford College and led by professor Kenneth Carter will help Emory faculty and students effectively translate academic pursuits into the public arena.

Emory plans to develop and launch a public scholarship center designed to help faculty and students engage in public conversation, combat misinformation and build trust in the value of scholarship that can positively impact the world, the university announced Sept. 20. Available to all Emory scholars and based on the university’s Oxford College campus, the center will open in 2024.

“Emory’s new center for public scholarship will provide our eminent faculty and exceptional students with the training and tools they need to connect with audiences outside of academia,” says Ravi V. Bellamkonda, Emory’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “In an era of complex societal challenges, we believe it is vitally important for scholars to understand how to effectively communicate the research-backed insights and valuable knowledge they have worked hard to gain.”

The center was conceived by Kenneth Carter, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology and former interim dean of Oxford College, who also will serve as its founding director. Throughout his career, Carter has been committed to connecting the work of serious researchers with the public in ways that are accessible and engaging. He has brought his professional training and research to a wide array of audiences through national media appearances, museum exhibits, podcasts and other platforms.

Kenneth Carter

Kenneth Carter will serve as founding director of Emory's new public scholarship center.

“Faculty are good at communicating with other scholars, but we can do more to share our knowledge and insights directly with the public to increase confidence in evidence-based ways to tackle big issues, understand new technologies and gain trust in research-based solutions,” says Carter. “The center will provide those tools to Emory faculty and students through education, increased production resources and public forums, while also offering opportunities to work with other universities, non-profits and social good organizations.”

The center’s initiatives will dovetail with Emory’s existing public outreach programs — such as Your Fantastic Mind and Science Gallery Atlanta — and work in collaboration with the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, Emory Communications and Marketing, and the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry’s initiatives on public scholarship in the humanities.

“The center will serve as a hub for new and ongoing programs and add to the wealth of resources already available at Emory to continue to build our reputation as a thought leader across disciplines and trusted source of factual information on a wide range of topics,” says Barbara Krauthamer, dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

The center’s programming will launch in May 2024 with the inaugural Emory public scholarship festival. The annual festival will bring scholars together with community and private sector thought leaders to discuss the public application of groundbreaking scholarship against our nation’s most pressing challenges — such as climate change and social justice; the proliferation of misinformation; and the erosion of trust in science and technology.

The center will develop additional programs and resources to be launched over the following two years, beginning in fall 2024, according to Carter.

Educational programs will include storytelling masterclasses and workshops to help faculty translate their scholarship into public forums. For students, the center plans to offer an undergraduate certificate and internship programs in science communication and public scholarship. In addition, the center will enhance production assistance for podcasting, radio, television interviews and video projects, and hopes to form partnerships with global media outlets and entertainment companies located in and around Atlanta, including the many studio and film production companies surrounding Oxford, Georgia.

In addition to benefiting from their location in the Atlanta region, the center and its annual festival will also strengthen the area’s reputation as a center for innovation and collaboration, notes Badia Ahad, dean of Oxford College.  

“Through the new center, and in partnership with the Emory community, we have an opportunity to facilitate honest and open public dialogue while sharing our expertise and demonstrating how our work positively impacts lives,” says Ahad. “We are excited to host this important work on our campus and look forward to playing a role in empowering scholars to reach audiences on a broad scale.”

Additional details about Emory’s public scholarship center and festival will be announced in spring 2024. For more information, please contact Kenneth Carter at

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