How Research-Driven Organizations Become Thought Leaders


Rachel Bitecofer Breaks the Rules

Here’s one way to break the rules in research:

  • Be a woman in a male-dominated field.
  • Have a big, easy-to-explain framework that purports to explain and predict what legions of your fellow researchers (and pundits) have struggled to explain and predict for decades.
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What is Research ‘Authority’?

It isn’t just citations, and it isn’t just where you’ve been published, and it isn’t just about being fresh and accurate and right. Those might feed into it. But first: It’s who you can talk with and why they listen to you.…

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The ‘Informed Public’

The global communications firm Edelman every year puts out a huge survey of public trust levels in institutions that always gets a ton of headlines. As always, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer is stuffed with fascinating data and takeaways. This year’s headline: “despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions the study measures — government, business, NGOs and media — is trusted.” In addition, only one of these groups (business) is seen as competent.…

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Beyond the Deficit Model

It’s now an article of both evidence and faith among science communicators that the information deficit model of communicating science (the idea that you, a non-scientist, have a deficit of information or knowledge about something and I, the expert, am going to give you enough information to remove your deficit) doesn’t work.…

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Nerds vs. Trees

There should be a German word for the special despair researchers feel when an idea they’ve debunked takes off in the mass imagination.

For if we had such a word, we’d be using it right now to describe the pain and frustration researchers feel at the Trillion Tree Initiative.…

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Reactive, Promotional, Strategic

There are three approaches researchers and their comms support (if they have it) can take to creating thought leadership — three gears, if you will.

As with gears (speaking as a long-time devotee of manual transmissions), you should know which one you’re in, why you’re in it and whether you’re going to stay there or shift up.…

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