What is public scholarship?
Public scholarship means different things to different people, but broadly defined it is teaching, research and learning that has a public impact.
It’s faculty, students, and government agencies, entrepreneurs, community groups, nonprofits, and ordinary people working together in structures like research projects, community art, public histories, student-run clinics, and citizen science to identify real world needs, ask new questions, activate relationships, generate resources, and make an impact through scientific literacy; data collection tools; research papers; collective action; curricula; real world learning; and connection to issues.
At UC Davis, we use the term “public scholarship” as it makes explicit who we serve as a public land-grant institution, but also that we see this work as being broad and inclusive of different forms of scholarship that vary by discipline and types of scholarly activity. Public scholarship exemplifies excellence in research, teaching, and creative practice that focuses on issues of public concern. It is useful to and developed in concert with diverse audiences beyond the university.