AT: I wonder if we could each talk about those two terms—community-engaged scholarship and research-engaged practice. How do you see it and what do you see as Cal Ag Roots’ role in it?
ICC: You want me to go first? [. . .] I think there’s an increasing number of scholars now that put themselves in the community-engaged scholarship camp, so really wanting to be vitally engaged over the long term with communities to produce data that is relevant to them and that creates change.
AT: I think there’s a spectrum of community-engaged scholarship and that the . . . there is a guiding light of research being guided by communities: that communities are able to come to the university and ask for something and that the university researchers are able to deliver something to them that is in an equitable partnership, that at the outset they know who owns the data and where things are going and what they’ll be used for. But at the same time communities know the research process, they know how to identify what good research is and what high-quality research is. And they can see it, and they question it, and they can engage with it.
ICC: I firmly put Cal Ag Roots in a “research-engaged practice” vein. I think that’s a big part of our goal. To encourage people to be informed about where we’ve been and to be prepared to reach out to a whole set of paid public thinkers who are theorizing and collecting data and informing our understanding of the world and who are ready and wanting to work with community members.
[. . .] I think it’s really important that this project illuminates who’s doing thinking particularly around food and farming in our public research institutions and that we make those people available to folks outside of the university. If that could be one of the things that Cal Ag Roots accomplishes, that would be really cool.