Public engagement, knowledge transfer, and impact validity

Hagger-Johnson, Gareth; Hegarty, Peter; Barker, Meg and Richards, Christina (2013). Public engagement, knowledge transfer, and impact validity. Journal of Social Issues, 69(4) pp. 664–683.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12035

Abstract

Public engagement and knowledge transfer are now necessary supplements to academic research and teaching activity for university-based psychologists in the United Kingdom. However, a “deficit model” of public understanding is often assumed by national policies. We argue that bidirectional approaches between researchers and concerned communities are necessary, and that bidirectional transfer recognizes different kinds of expertise and experience. We argue further that researchers working in the field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) psychology have routinely been engaged in bidirectional translational work, by drawing on historical and recent examples. Bidirectional models of knowledge transfer do not resolve all of the potential problems that arise during public engagement. For example, it is not clear how academics should respond when end users do not accept their findings. However, involving concerned communities is clearly necessary to achieving, and maximizing, impact validity and LGBT psychologists have long been at the forefront of so doing.

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