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Weekly Wisdom #75 by Paul Gray and David E. Drew

COMMUNICATING YOUR FIELD TO THE PUBLIC. Those who can communicate ideas from their discipline clearly to the public hold an important place in our society.  If you develop this skill, you can become a “public intellectual”.  Some highly successful public intellectuals in the recent past included astronomer Carl Sagan (Cornell) who had a television series, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (Harvard) who became a United States senator, and Stephen Jay Gould (Harvard) a broadly published a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist. Listed by your school’s PR department as an expert in your field, you can expect local (and sometimes national) media will ask for your comment.  If you are good on TV, you will be asked about all kinds of subjects, many beyond your expertise. Be careful not to pontificate about subjects where you know next to nothing.

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