I am aware that this question is of different relevance for each science field. I am asking as a social scientist/sociologist here. The line between research and own political opinions is more or less clear/diffuse for other fields.

In short, my field of research is relevant to some more or less intense political discussions, especially coming from the political 'left'. Along with my own political believes (which I don't discuss here), publishing in some journals or book projects is interesting for me a) because it advances my research on specific topics b) it allows me to articulate critique and take a position in public discourse c) advance critical sciences and critique in my field -- and in society as well.

Is it a problem for a pursuit of an academic career, if I publish some papers in 'political biased' journals/books? Of course my own choice of jobs/funding etc. is selective and tends to exclude opportunities that are for example 'too conservative' for me. However, sometimes you cannot chose freely. Further, said publications can be omitted in my publications list; but internet makes one transparent. Has anyone of you made any experience in the either way? Or has anyone expierienced conflicts?

  • Which of the questions at the end of your description do you wish answered? If the title question, the answer is: yes. It is illusory to believe that choosing a politically coloured outlet will not put a stamp on your research which, depending on the field, may be a desirable or undesirable thing for you. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 12:34
  • The question does not indicate simple yes/no/perhaps answers. I wanted to get input on possible conflicts and impacts on career. Since every field is different, I think no answer will be 100% correct. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 14:31
  • "Further, said publications can be omitted in my publications list;" That's not how CV's work. Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 6:36
  • Sometimes, the following process happens: proponents of ideology X plan to implement policy A; proponents of ideology Y oppose policy A; research result M reveals that policy A is inconsistent with the stated core values of both ideologies X and Y; proponents of ideology X persist in their plans to implement policy A; proponents of ideology X accuse anyone who draws attention to research result M of being politically biased in favour of ideology Y. One can't stop drawing attention to valid research results just because people behave like that. Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


There is nothing wrong with communicating your research to (a part of) the general public. In all likelihood public funding was used to pay for part of your research or used in your university, so it is only fair to give something back when you can. I would not hide it either, that only looks suspicious. Instead I would just add a section to your CV for communications with the general public. It would often be viewed as positive, though other things like publications would be valued much higher. Who knows, maybe you will end up in a very close race some day and that little extra is just enough.

If those pulbications have nothing to do with your research than those are just your private actions as a citizen. You don't need to mention those in your CV, but I don't think they will be held against you.

  • 6
    I think this misses what the question is really about. It's not about publishing something in a non-scientific setting, it is very explicitly about publishing something in a venue that down the road somebody may find offensive, and to publicly express (radical?) opinions that future evaluators may disagree with.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 10:19
  • That is covered by the second paragraph. HATEthePLOT mentioned (s)he is from sociology, so the left side of the political spectrum is pretty "safe". Unless (s)he is so far off to call for violance or something similar, but then (s)he has other problems to worry about. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 15:11
  • Well, political agenda and scientific research sometimes go hand in hand (not only in sociology). The question, however, related more to specific journals and book projects and how they are perceived, eg when applying for grants, positions etc. @Maarten Buis is right however with a section pro political/cultural communications. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 16:17
  • Not all books and journals are scientific. That is fine and legitimate. People who do science for a living, can also participate in other fields outside their work. That too is fine and legitimate. If your journal article/book project has nothing to do with research, then don't list it in your CV as part of your scientific credentials. As long as you keep the two separate, I don't see a problem. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 20:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .