I believe that public engagement is important for keeping the academy and its work accessible to those outside of the ivory tower. It also benefits the academy, by increasing the number of voices that can participate, fostering insights from a more diverse range of perspectives. Below is a summary of some of my outreach activities.
From 2017 to 2022, I led a philosophy discussion group at a retirement community called Carolina Meadows. We discussed everything from the nature of happiness and meaning in life to Newcomb's problem. Between 2017 and 2019, I volunteered with National High School Ethics Bowl, helping to run the regional and national championships. National High School Ethics Bowl is an extracurricular activity that challenges high school students to think deeply about ethical questions and discuss them with peers.
I've written articles for popular outlets, such as the Greater Good Science Center and Psyche. For several years I ran a blog called The Practical Philosopher, which applied the tools of academic philosophy to topics of ordinary interest. This included such topics as the future of human labor, what's wrong with lying, and the nature of wisdom. I've also had numerous opportunities to take some of my research to the public. I've participated in virtual events like the Carolina Science Café, and even shared my work with local news stations.
Quantifying the impact
I am currently working with the Parr Center for Ethics on the first ever large-scale empirical study of a public philosophy program. The study investigates how participation in National High School Ethics Bowl (mentioned above) might affect students’ intellectual and interpersonal traits. We are currently collecting data, and expect to have results in the spring of 2023.