October 25, 2017

Faculty encouraged to share knowledge with public

Wayne State University faculty are doing wonderful work in a wide variety of academic disciplines, and the Office of Marketing and Communications is constantly working to share that expertise with the public.

One new initiative is with The Conversation, a nonprofit source for articles written by faculty in collaboration with professional editors to ensure that the knowledge is conveyed in language accessible to the widest possible audience. The articles can be analyses of current issues supported by research or data, or based on original research.

“If a faculty member has an opinion about an issue in the news related to their research or a solution to offer, this is a great way to share it,” said Matt Lockwood, WSU director of communications.

Articles accepted by The Conversation are free to read and free for any media outlet to republish. Some of its biggest republishers are CNN, Time, The Associated Press and The Washington Post. Writing for The Conversation is a great way to write a short article — pieces are between 800 to 1,200 words — and have it picked up by multiple media outlets.

“It requires a bit of a time commitment, but Conversation articles can increase the visibility of a faculty member’s research and enhance the reputation of Wayne State,” said Lockwood. “Our faculty are doing such great work and this is another way to let the world know about it, and demonstrate the value of universities to the public.”

Since WSU signed on with The Conversation this summer, several professors have had articles accepted and picked up around the country.

David Rosenberg, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, had an article posted on Oct. 20 about the stigma children with emotional and behavioral problems that has been picked up by the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and more than 50 other websites.

“Working on the piece collaboratively with the editor was a new but enjoyable process,” said Rosenberg. “It was a way for me to share my opinion on a topic that is near and dear to my heart, along with my research. As an added bonus, I’ve heard from colleagues around the country who saw the article and I have received a lot of positive feedback from readers. I encourage others to give it a try.”

This video gives some more information on what it is like to write for The Conversation.

If you have an idea for an article or would like to learn more about The Conversation, please contact a member of the WSU public relations team.