|Beyond the ivory tower: Measuring and explaining academic engagement with journalists, politicians and industry representatives among Swiss professorss
Mike S. Schäfer
|UNIVERSITY TECHNOLOGY; PUBLIC COMMUNICATION; SCIENCE; SCIENTISTS; MEDIA; MEDIALIZATION; INNOVATION; IMPACT; UK; POPULARIZATION
|PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Scholars from different theoretical schools have posited that in recent decades, science and society have moved closer together, and the concept of academic engagement has been proposed to capture one part of this approximation empirically. This study analyzes the academic engagement of individual scholars towards politicians, industry representatives and journalists. It uses comprehensive survey data on Swiss professors from all disciplines, all the country's universities and from associated research institutes. It assesses, firstly, the degree to which these professors have professional contacts to journalists, politicians and industry representatives. Secondly, it explains the extent of these contacts, using multi-level modelling that incorporates individual factors as well as organizational and institutional contexts. Our study shows that academic engagement is quite common with strong differences between disciplines. Furthermore, professors with higher academic productivity, positive personal attitude towards communication activities as well as a leadership position have more outside contacts. The gender and nationality of the professors, however, only play a role for some of the contacts with non-scientific actors.
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