#AoIR2018 has ended
Friday, October 12 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
The Risks and Rewards of Public Scholarship: Studying the Internet and Becoming its Fodder

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From online harassment to the alt-right to Anonymous, many internet researchers want to communicate their findings to a broader public, seeking to intervene in and shape current political and social debates. The participants in this fishbowl will explore how our public scholarship, whether participation on social media, writing for the mainstream media, or giving public talks, might contribute to (and/or complicate) our various goals of educating the public, furthering social justice, and advocating for policy changes. We will discuss both the successful outcomes, including examples of social, political, or policy change, as well as the challenges, limits, misfires, and risks in reaching beyond scholarly audiences. We will discuss strategies for dealing with the backlash to our work. Given the contemporary political climate, addressing racism, sexism, and other systemic forms of inequality can trigger increased public scrutiny and harassment. This fishbowl will offer a space for participants to share practical advice and ask questions about public scholarship including: connecting with journalists, writing for the public in accessible language, adding nuance to simplistic narrative frames, appealing to tenure and promotion committees, and promoting greater diversity of sources, which is often lacking in journalism. In discussing how we navigate studying the internet, intervening in public conversations about it, and being the subject of clickbait ourselves, we examine the risks and rewards of public scholarship.

Friday October 12, 2018 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
Sheraton - Salon 8