Scholars Strategy Network

The Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) has one mission: connecting journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders with America’s top researchers to improve policy and strengthen democracy.

Started by a Harvard professor in 2011, the organization has grown from three people working in one office to 1,400 people at 270 universities across 48 states. Besides university-based scholars volunteering to serve the public good, the organization includes chapter leaders, staffers, and the steering committee.

While the SSN works to analyze policy impacts and advocate for evidence-based programs, its primary focus is supporting democracy. One way to accomplish this is by connecting diverse people, including scholars, policymakers, civic leaders, journalists, and other community members.

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Faculty Social Media Profile: Zhao Ma

Social Media as a Scientific Responsibility

At least 68% of Americans get their news from social media. University researchers play an important role in sharing science-related news, with 47% of scientists using social media to discuss their findings and keep up with new discoveries.

To Dr. Zhao Ma, Professor of Natural Resource Social Science at Purdue University, communication is both a vital part of research and a way to help promote colleagues and students.

 “Whether we’re social or biophysical scientists, engineers, or humanities scholars,” says Dr. Ma. “It’s important to be able to communicate our work with a broader audience within and beyond academia. Since a lot of our audience is already on social media, it makes sense to use it as a tool for communication.”

For Dr. Ma, it’s not just about promoting her own work, but that of her colleagues and students.

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