Friesike, Dobusch & Heimstädt (2021) Striving for societal impact as an early-career researcher: Reflections on five common concerns | SocArXiv preprints
flavoursofopenscience's bookmarks 2021-05-03
Friesike, S., Dobusch, L., & Heimstädt, M. (2021, May 3). Striving for societal impact as an early-career researcher: Reflections on five common concerns. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/kjehy
Abstract: Many early-career researchers are motivated by the prospect of creating knowledge that is useful, not just within but also beyond the academic community. Although research facilities, funders and academic journals praise this eagerness for societal impact, the path towards such contributions is by no means straightforward. In this article, we address five common concerns faced by early-career researchers when they strive for societal impact. We discuss the opportunity costs associated with impact work, the fuzziness of current impact measurement, the challenge of incremental results, the actionability of research findings, and the risk of saying something wrong in public. We reflect on these concerns in light of our own experience with impact work and conclude by suggesting a ‘post-heroic’ perspective on impact, whereby seemingly mundane activities are linked in a meaningful way.