Raising the Profile of Behavioral Science

June 2, 2021

FABBS, in collaboration with the Scholars Strategy Network, kicked off our June Series on Public Scholarship with a conversation about opportunities and strategies to elevate public scholarship efforts in academic departments. The session Raising the Profile of Behavioral Science on Campus brought together diverse perspectives for an informative panel. Speakers included: 

  • Dr. Jennifer Mangels, CUNY Baruch College, Chair of the Psychology Department for the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology 
  • Dr. Devon Brenner, Mississippi State University, Assistant Vice President of Outreach & Initiatives 
  • Phillip Harman, University of California, Director of Research at Office of Federal Government Relations 

Panelists discussed how to make and keep behavioral science in academia publicly-relevant, as well as how to think about public scholarship in academic tenure and promotion. A key takeaway was the importance of working proactively to facilitate communication between researchers and university colleagues focused on public engagement, including in university government affairs or offices of research and community relations.  

Concrete examples emerged from the discussion as well. Mr. Harman shared how he has organized “speed dating” to connect researchers to policy makers enabling the two groups who might not otherwise cross paths to connect with brief conversations and discover opportunities for collaboration. Dr. Brenner noted that in her role in the Office of Research and Economic Development, she regularly meets with prospective hires. This would be a win-win for departments of psychology both bringing attention to the research agendas of departments and demonstrating the university commitment to and interest in psychological sciences on campus.  

FABBS is very grateful to our panelists for the enlightening discussion. We aim to build on these conversations to develop resources for our members interested in advancing public scholarship. The next webinar, “Communicating with Federal Agencies” will be on Wednesday, June 16 at 12:00 pm ET, and will share recommendations and examples of how behavioral science and scientists can help shape federal programs, practice and investments in research. See the full list of sessions for the Public Scholarship Series here.  

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