Evaluating Broader Impacts Workshop

Earlier this week, thanks to Britt Holbrook at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, I attended this workshop on evaluating broader impacts held in Washington, D.C.  The workshop is part of a larger project on impact supported by the National Science Foundation, but the discussions and opinions tangled with on Thursday were strictly those of the speakers and other attendees.

While there is no video of the workshop, you can catch some of the flavor of the event through the Twitter hashtag #broaderimpact16.  One of the speakers, Stacy Konkiel of Altmetrics, gathered Tweets and other web resources into this Storify archive.  I was the designated workshop Tweeter, my outsize presence in the archive simply reflects that role.

Participants came from the U.S. and several countries, so we had a variety of experiences with impact studies and evaluation exercises.  I don’t live with this topic in the same ways as most of the workshop participants, but it seemed to me that the more time spent examining impact studies and evaluation exercises, the more important it is to keep in mind that those subject to the studies will likely value and define impacts in different ways than those seeking the studies.

As research outputs connected to this workshop are released (articles in journals, mostly), I’ll make note of them in Twitter and probably here as well.  My thanks to Britt and the other organizers for giving me a seat in the room.


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