Yale University

Public Voices Fellowship

In 2011, we launched a pilot Public Voices Fellowship at Yale University—the first in the nation.  The fellowship was designed as an experiment in accelerating ideas and public impact; fostering fellowship around knowledge, meaning and community; and testing what it takes for underrepresented voices (including women) to become influential on a large public scale.  Over the past six years of Public Voices at Yale (2012-2017), a total of 120 fellows (20/year) have convened, collaborated and supported each other, surfaced and shared new ideas, and produced over 420 concrete successes, a 350% success rate.


Impact highlights

Meg Urry (Yale Public Voices Fellow, Year 1) published many pieces and was invited to become a regular columnist at CNN.com during her fellowship year. She has since written 19 pieces for the outlet, covering everything from dark matter to sexual harassment in science. Meg wrote: “When I write for the public, in a forum that gets huge exposure, I hear from all sorts of people. Some have theories to explain what I described, like dark energy; others just want to say, ‘Thank you, now I get the idea.’ And finally, a few people always mention that it’s great to see a woman scientist doing these things; these folks are usually either young women in science or their parents or relatives.”

As a direct result of her op-ed on the Harris v. Quinn U.S. Supreme Court decision, Jennifer Klein (Yale Public Voices Fellow, Year 3) appeared as an expert source on a variety of television and radio programs, and was commissioned by The Nation to write a follow-up piece. Her work as a public intellectual contributed to her recently being awarded the Hans Sigrist Prize, a $100,000 prize given by the University of Bern.

Emily Coates (Yale Public Voices Fellow, Year 3) teamed up with Sarah Demers (Yale Public Voices Fellow, Year 2) to produce a science-art video entitled “Three Views of the Higgs and Dance.” The collaboration, a mesmerizing video set to music, which depicted scientists’ gestures as they described the Higgs Boson particle, was featured in Scientific American and ultimately inspired a powerful TEDxYale talk.

Joan Cook (Yale Public Voices Fellow, Year 5) has used her expertise in trauma to shed light on some of the most tragic and disturbing events of our time. After the March 2016 terror attack on a Brussels airport and metro station, Joan wrote a piece for TIME about our reactions to terror, including strategies for coping in the aftermath of a violent attack.  Following the terror in San Bernardino, Joan called for national interventions to reduce compassion fatigue in an op-ed for TIME. She was featured in a 45-minute NPR segment on mass shootings – a direct result of her TIME op-ed. Joan also tackled the psychology of hate (in the wake of the Pulse Nightclub shooting), police brutality (after the death of Alton Sterling), Islamophobia (in the Trump campaign) and more. As a result of her extensive public work during her Public Voices Fellowship year (including 20 op-eds), Joan has become a regular contributor and go-to trauma expert for TIME and The Hill.


Yale public voices y6 (2016-17) 

Yale public voices y5 (2015-16) 

Yale public voices y4 (2014-15) 

Yale public voices y3 (2013-14) 

Yale public voices y2 (2012-13) 

Yale public voices Y1 (2011-12)