The landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court cited psychological evidence in overturning school segregation, is just one example of the powerful and far-reaching impact social science research can have on the world beyond academia. But many researchers still find it challenging to share scientific knowledge with the broader public and to partner with key social institutions to have such impact.

In this volume, prominent experts, including academic psychologists, government officials, and leaders of professional organizations, discuss how researchers can forge and strengthen vital links between scholarship and public engagement by lending their scientific expertise to debates around social issues and current events.

The authors provide pointers on talking to the media, testifying as an expert witness, dealing with governmental organizations, working with schools and students, and influencing public policy.

Table of Contents


Linda R. Tropp

  1. Becoming an Engaged Scholar: Getting Started
    Linda R. Tropp
  2. The Media: Helping Journalists Use and Interpret Your Research
    Amy T. Schalet
  3. The Public: Engaging a Nonscholarly Audience
    Samuel R. Sommers
  4. Public Policy: How Psychologists Can Influence Lawmakers
    Roberta Downing
  5. Government and Organizations: Transforming Institutions Using Behavioral Insights
    Abigail Dalton and Max H. Bazerman
  6. The Courts: How to Translate Research for Legal Cases
    Eugene Borgida and Susan T. Fiske
  7. Law Enforcement: Finding Common Purpose
    Jack Glaser and Amanda Charbonneau
  8. Education: Building Trusted Partnerships With Schools
    Geoffrey Maruyama and Lara Westerhof
  9. Health Professionals: Conducting Research With Physicians
    Louis A. Penner
  10. Community-Based Organizations: Enhancing Collaboration and Dissemination of Research
    Meg A. Bond and Michelle C. Haynes-Baratz
  11. Teaching and Mentoring: How to Involve Students in Engaged Scholarship
    Jamie Franco-Zamudio and Regina Langhout
  12. Where Have We Been, Where Are We Now, and Where Should We Be? Linking Engagement to Scholarship
    John F. Dovidio


About the Editor

Editor Bio

Linda R. Tropp, PhD, is a professor of social psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, from which she received the Distinguished Academic Outreach Award for excellence in the application of scientific knowledge to advance the public good.

A Fellow of APA and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, Tropp has received scholarly awards from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the International Society of Political Psychology. She has been cited in numerous news outlets (including New York Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, O Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Salon, and Huffington Post, among others), invited to author blogs for Psychology Today and APA, and interviewed on radio and television (including PBS News Hour, NPR's Talk of the Nation, and New England Public Radio).

She has presented social science research at several congressional briefings and has worked with national organizations to translate research evidence for U.S. Supreme Court cases relevant to racial integration, discrimination, and immigration. She regularly works on state and national initiatives to improve interracial relations and promote racial justice, and with international organizations to evaluate programs designed to reduce racial and ethnic conflict.

Tropp is coeditor of Moving Beyond Prejudice Reduction: Pathways to Positive Intergroup Relations (2011), coauthor of When Groups Meet: The Dynamics of Intergroup Contact (2011), and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict (2012).

Reviews & Awards

Making Research Matter will help social scientists in general, and psychologists in particular, to forge the vital link between scholarship and social engagement.
Midwest Book Review

Making Research Matter both inspires and informs, telling us how we can make our scientific knowledge contribute to the greater good and why it is important to do so. Whether new to the process or already engaged, readers will acquire a toolbox chock-full of advice and tested practices supplied by experts working on issues such as education, health, and law enforcement. Don't head out to the field without it!
—Kay Deaux, PhD
Distinguished Professor Emerita, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY