Mindwise is off the ground!
It’s Tuesday evening and we’re only a few hours away from launching Mindwise, the new blog for the Psychology Department of the University of Groningen. My daughter’s in bed, her toys tucked away, and I am finally sitting down to write the inaugural post, the Beatles on the stereo, a cocktail on the table beside me. I have been thinking about this post since the editorial board of the unnamed-at-the-time blog first met in October of last year, but waited until everything else was ready until I put pen on proverbial paper.
Why another Psychology blog?
Just a couple of weeks ago, the American columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed in the New York Times with the title Professors, We Need You!, more rousing call to arms than dispassioned observation. In his short piece, he asserts that the marginalisation of academics from public life is, at least in part, their own failure to remain relevant and active in an ever-evolving public conversation. While Kristof’s article is more dramatic than it need have been (as evidenced by the quick and well-considered responses by academics active on public media), there is little dispute about academia’s responsibility to engage non-expert readers, educate beyond the walls of lecture halls, and actively maintain its relevance in society. Slowly, though not yet in the mainstream, tenure-track systems and grant review panels place increasingly more value on public communication and graduate programmes are beginning to teach the relevant skills and to promote the use of social media. And which University these days is without a Facebook page or YouTube channel?
It was awareness of and commitment to this responsibility that ultimately led to the development of Mindwise, a platform for Psychology faculty members and students of the University of Groningen to write about their research and education activities. Every week, new blog posts will present the research that is conducted at the Psychology department, views of the department’s student and faculty members on current affairs, book reviews etc. for everyone to read and comment on.
Staying in touch
An additional aim of Mindwise is to promote the communication within the department itself. With over 2000 students and more than 100 staff members, keeping everyone informed about new developments is a task and a half! Our aim is to provide an active, vibrant, and open platform for everyone to learn about and become involved in the academic and social goings-on of the department. The Events and News tabs at the top right of the page will host information about anything relevant to members of the Psychology department; you can easily stay up-to-date by subscribing to the news feed, the main blog feed, or adding the events calendar to your favourite calendar programme (hint: just click on “RSS feed for Events”, in the relevant tab).
Clicking on the Authors and About Us tabs slides the navigation bar to reveal what is really hiding behind the scenes: the contributors to Mindwise, the students and staff members of the Psychology department. This is where you can read the bios of all the authors (with more being added every week), find links to their published work and blogposts.
Many more things to come
We have many more plans to make Mindwise grow in the future. Look out for interviews with students and researchers, videos with visits to labs, and many more things. Most crucial to our success, however, is your involvement. Subscribe to our feeds, comment on our posts, send us emails with suggestions and requests, become involved. Your involvement will make the difference on whether Mindwise ultimately fulfills its purpose. You are its core focus. You are Mindwise.