Sarah Madsen Hardy and Marisa Milanese have recently written about the potential for students to become active and entrusted members of public intellectuals through a recent overview of their approach to undergraduate writing assignments in Teaching Students to Be Public Intellectuals.
In my mind, this push for students to become publicly conscious and involved (beyond instagram posts, snapchats and vines) falls in line with a larger trend toward Altmetrics and the growing space (and push) for academics to become publicly relevant.
An interesting source to explore Altmetrics are the Scholarly Kitchen's Altmetrics posts. A series of authors have weighed in on the topic. Below are a few choice excerpts to whet your whistle enough to entice you to visit the page:
From J. Esposito (2014) Going to the Beach with a Public Intellectual: "Speaking for the idiots, it seems to me that the public intellectual has something in common with the altmetrics movement in that both are democratizing forces."
From T. Carpenter's (2012 and republished in 2014) Replacing the Impact Factor Is Not the Only Point: "If we want to have a full view of a scholar’s impact, we need to find a way to measure the usage and impact of these newer forms of content distribution. Addressing these issues is the broader goal of the altmetrics community and it is perhaps clouded by the focus on replacing the impact factor."