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Tag: knowledge exchange

Societal impact equals research in service of society – but what society?

What is the “society” we talk about when we talk about the societal impact of research? What does it entail, what kinds of entities does it consist of, and who does it include? The discourse on societal impact that I have been immersed in as a research management professional has been more or less centered on business collaboration and commercialization of research results, policymaking, and life-long learning for professional and personal development. But in my interviews at the University of Michigan and MIT I have been struck by the prevalence of the level of community and civil society. The Detroit…

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The necessity of practical humanities – a provocation?

‘Tis the season here in the US that universities make decisions on their tenure-track hires for the coming fall. I am learning this through my Twitter feed where the freshly nominated assistant professors share their exciting news. In my feed, however, these news are interlaced with other kinds of announcements – most of them, too, exhilarated in their tone but also often flavored with a whole range of other kinds of emotions. These are people sharing their stories of leaving academia. This “quit-lit” contains a double narrative. It testifies to the widening cracks in the walls between academic and other…

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License to explore – my alt-ac story and three top tips for professional Fulbright applicants

I have been asked a lot about how I ended up here in the US, working on a project on practical humanities. A huge thank you for that opportunity goes to the Fulbright Finland Foundation that is giving me a license to explore a new topic of interest at this point in my career. For any professionals in Finland looking to tweak their job settings, I can warmly recommend the ASLA-Fulbright Mid-Career Professional Program – at the point of writing this, the next application round is about to open! Of course, the topic of practical humanities didn’t just appear out…

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Spanning boundaries agents – who are they and how to become one?

Imagine you are an academic working on hate speech. You realize that your research could change the way people interact online. But how do you get your work out there? Or imagine your company hosts a popular online platform that has gone rampant with attacks on migrant communities. You are painfully aware that you should take action. But what action and on what grounds? Spanning boundaries agents are intermediaries whose job it is to help solve these problems. One of the gaps that exist between academic research and its potential uses is the lack of networks connecting academia and business.…

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