Workshop on Writing Behavioral Science for the Popular Press

Monday, Mar 5, 2018

David Nussbaum, Director of Communications for the Behavioral Science & Policy Association and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science, ran a workshop Wednesday, March 14 at 4:30pm in 397 Julis Romo Rabinowitz, on writing and publishing behavioral science-related opinion pieces in mainstream print and online publications.

He discussed how researchers can find their voice in the marketplace of ideas without sacrificing the integrity of their research. The heart of Dave’s approach is to make the publishing process as easy and painless as possible. The workshop was focused on identifying promising research to share and to help you understand how to write a short pitch and an effective Op-Ed.  One-on-one meetings provided the opportunity for researchers to discuss their research in greater depth and identify opportunities to share it more broadly.

Nussbaum is a social psychologist who has helped faculty publish dozens of op-eds about their research in outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vox, Scientific American, Politico, Quartz, Behavioral Scientist, and many others.  His own work focuses on how people respond to threats to their self-image, how this affects their beliefs and behavior, and how social contexts and psychological processes can either attenuate threats to self-image or exacerbate them. He is also the editor of Character & Context, the blog of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).

His talk took place during his three-day visit to campus, March 14-16, during which he worked one-on-one with faculty members and students to work on getting their work into the public discourse.  As Nussbaum says: "It’s obviously important to publish research in academic journals, but it’s a shame when good research gets read by only a handful of people in a discipline. Writing for a popular audience is not only an opportunity to share one's research with the public, it’s also a great way to reach other scholars who might not otherwise come across it. It’s not easy, but it’s a lot easier that it looks – the research was the hardest part and it's already done."

Researchers at Princeton wishing to take advantage of the Center's pilot program with Nussbaum--meeting to discuss potential pitches and follow-up conversations on how to get a piece published--should email Leslie Rowley to set things in motion.