There’s been a big(ish) debate out there in the past week in response to Nicolas Kristof’s article in the New York Times on ‘Bridging the Moat Around Universities‘ (for some great follow ups see Ezra Klein over at Bloomberg or Rachel M Gisselquist at UNU-WIDER). Duncan Green over at FP2P followed it up with a post on ‘What Do White House Policy Makers want from Researchers? Important survey findings‘. In it, he looks at a new paper by Paul C Avey (MIT) and Michael C Desch (University of Notre Dame), quoting extensively and then translating what they say:
‘Another conclusion we draw from this survey is that a scholar’s broader visibility – both in government and among the public whether through previous government service or publication in broader venues –– enhances influence among policymakers more than his or her academic standing.
Translation: get blogging, people’
It reminded me of an older post of his that came out roughly around the last time I posted here, called ‘Is blogging (or commenting on blogs) a guy thing? And if so, why?’ At the time, I thought about commenting and then didn’t, probably for several of the reasons he includes in his blog. Is it cool to admit that you’d rather spend your evenings with your kids, or reading a book, or watching ‘The Bridge‘? Is it even less cool to admit that I do actually blog, but I have a private blog – known only to my closest friends – that’s just for fun, where I write (from time to time) about crime fiction, photography, baking, elusive work-life balance and other non-developmenty things?
What Duncan reminds us, though, is that blogging for work can be fun, as well as important. And it is important, particularly through institutional blogs, such as our new DLP Opinions blog. But sometimes it’s also good to just be me, an academic, without wearing an institutional hat, and that’s what this will be for.
But next week, as a weekend with the family approaches…