Today, I was honored to have a piece featuring some of my research interests published in the Huffington Post.
According to the “Byline Report” by the Op-Ed Project, women represent an alarmingly low percentage of public voices in a variety of media sources (In the Huffington Post, 64% of their writers are men, which is better than New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Salon which hover around 70-80%). The wonderful folks at the Op-Ed Project are working to create a diversity of voices in our public media.
Here is their mission pulled from their website.
“The OpEd Project‘s mission is to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas we hear in the world. A starting goal is to increase the number of women thought leaders in key commentary forums to a tipping point. We envision a world where the best ideas – regardless of where they come from – will have a chance to be heard, and to shape society and the world. Working with top universities, foundations, think tanks, nonprofits, corporations and community organizations, we scout and train under-represented experts to take thought leadership positions in their fields; we connect them with our national network of high-level media mentors; and we vet and channel the best new experts and ideas directly media gatekeepers who need them, across all platforms.”
Academics have a responsibility to make their work accessible and relevant to not only the peers within their communities, but also outside of their academic communities. This means neuroscience shouldn’t only be produced for other neuroscientists and that academics should also have a significant role in their communities as public intellectuals.
Coming from an academic environment, my training has had an emphasis on publishing in academic journals. Yet, as I consider the impact of neuroscience and neurotechnologies in society, I see that the conversation about neuroethics must require a dialogue with the society in which neuroscience impacts. We must be advocates and stewards of our work. This means being able to take on a voice in a general audience public domain that may be foreign to some of us. I have found my conversations for those outside of my specialty refreshing and enlightening and I encourage others to take the initiative to connect with their broader communities.