The Academy in the Public Square
Our Doors Are Open
The world needs new ways of thinking about complex problems. Yet, the unmatched potential for university researchers to generate solutions is often overlooked.
The Academy in the Public Square initiative encourages engagement between USC Dornsife faculty and communities beyond our institution. We’re swinging open our doors — becoming the go-to source for expertise. We’re offering new ways of thinking about complex issues affecting people and communities today. We’re communicating scholarship in ways that non-experts can actually understand. And, working with leaders across the public and private sectors, we are emphasizing the enormous value of research universities as society’s most productive and prolific driver of innovation.
If your organization had a dedicated research arm with experts in just about any subject you could imagine, what problems would you be able to solve?
As the centerpiece of the Academy in the Public Square, Public Exchange amplifies social impact by making academic expertise more easily accessible than ever before. The first-of-its-kind hub connects leaders in the public and private sectors with the right team of USC researchers and streamlines the collaborative process, providing project management from start to finish.
Shaping the Conversation
USC Dornsife experts provide insights that shape and expand public discourse on complex issues of the day.
USC Dornsife Research in the News
The annual awards recognize individuals who excel as “public scholars,” sharing their expertise to benefit society.
As 2024 elections approach, experts examine the rising tide of independent voters sweeping the nation
The Los Angeles Police Department is stepping into the future, leveraging artificial intelligence to analyze the communication between officers and drivers during traffic stops.The research is led by a multidisciplinary team based at USC, including scholars from psychology, sociology, engineering, computer science, computer science, public health, and public policy.
It’s been more than 20 years since the US invaded Iraq, but USC scholars argue that the invasion still provides a cautionary tale about getting involved in an expensive war abroad.
USC Dornsife honors 5 scholars with Communicator of the Year Award for outstanding public engagement
The Second annual awards recognize scholars across disciplines for their dedication to sharing their expertise with the public.
Various legal requirements affect how likely any one person is to actually cast a ballot. USC Dornsife researchers are exploring these complex dynamics in the democratic process.
The names of thousands of Japanese Americans sent to prison camps during World War II were lost or misspelled in the decades following the war. USC Dornsife scholar Duncan Williams recently finished the first complete and accurate accounting of all those who were imprisoned.
The new USC Dornsife Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life explores the societal implications of the constantly changing scientific and technological ecosystem.
Check out our series of stimulating online forums in which leading experts and distinguished alumni from USC Dornsife share new perspectives and research-based findings on timely topics. Now available in podcast form!
Complex Insights into Identity
USC Dornsife’s Viet Thanh Nguyen, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Sympathizer, contributes frequently to the public discourse about race and American identity — including pieces for The Atlantic, Time, The New York Times, and more. With his bestselling novel about to be adapted for an HBO series, whole new audiences will get to engage with his distinct perspective.
Why Science Is Not Just for Scientists
Professor Clifford Johnson’s motto is that science is not just for scientists. So it’s no surprise that the professor of physics and astronomy, whose research focuses on the origin and makeup of the universe, has dedicated his time to bringing science to the masses.
In addition to his teaching and research at USC Dornsife, Johnson is a science adviser to filmmakers and showrunners, helping them with their portrayal of scientific concepts and scientists He also created the USC Science Film Competition in which interdisciplinary teams of students — including scientists, journalists and artists — create videos that explain a scientific idea for a non-expert audience. Johnson’s book, “The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe,” which he wrote and illustrated, engages science lovers of all ages — especially those who shy away from the subject.
Through YouTube videos, Twitter threads, and a Twitch stream, Kiersten Formoso, a doctoral candidate in Earth Sciences, shares her knowledge of paleontology with a broad cross-section of the public. It’s work that earned her a USC Dornsife Communicator of the Year award.