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What is The Conversation?

The Conversation is a Creative Commons site – written by academics from universities across the world, content is free to read and free to republish.

‌How does it work?

The Conversation website features short articles of 600-800 words providing insight, analysis or comment on stories in the news.  They can report on, or explain, new research or current affairs.

You can even write explainer pieces or simply answer an interesting question.  They want to hear about the new, the important, the interesting, the unusal and the insightful.

Why write?

Writing for The Conversation will help you reach a wider audience, raising your profile along with the University’s.  It can increase your research impact (handy for REF) and improve your skills at communicating with a non-academic audience.

Articles are republished by international outlets including The Guardian, Daily Mail, The New York Times, and IFLScience. 

Nearly 12.5 million people have read articles by Queen's academics, with over 40% in American, 8% in Australia, as well as readers in India, Malaysia, across Africa and Europe.  Articles were even read by people in Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna.

PHOTO: Dr Gerry Gormley
The Conversation opened my research to a global audience. Normally my writing is oriented to other academics – however conveying my research findings to the general public brought new perspectives to my work. This has driven my research in a new direction which I previously hadn’t considered. Dr Gerry Gormley
Senior Academic General Practitioner
Gerry's article has been read nearly 2 million people

Read the article

Need to wax lyrical?


The Conversation is trying out new styles

The Conversation has a new long read section called "In Depth".  With the help of the editorial team, academics can write a special 3,000 word article or you can discuss your piece in a video or podcast.

Something for the kids

"Curious Kids" are articles aimed at the younger reader. 

Taking science and news and making it fun is a great skill to master and a new way to get your research to the next generation.

PHOTO: Dr Connor Bamford
I think The Conversation offers a fantastic platform allowing fun and facile collaboration with talented editors to engage with those outside of academia and affect impact. Dr Connor Bamford
Virologist, Wellcome-Wolfson Institute Experimental Medicine
Connor's Covid-19 articles have been read by over 925,000 people

Read his articles

Recently Published on The Conversation

The three latest articles written by Queen's academics

How parents should talk to their children about sex

Date published - 22/09/2020

Author - Áine Aventin, Vice Chancellor's Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast

Read article

Excavating hidden and forgotten pasts with sound

Date published - 27/08/2020

Author - Don Duncan, Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism, Queen's University Belfast

Read article

Five techniques we’re using to uncover the secrets of viruses

Date published - 26/08/2020

Author - Grace C Roberts, Research Fellow in Virology, Queen's University Belfast

Read article
PHOTO: Dr Heather Conway
My article on The Conversation was based on core themes in my book, which was published around the same time. It was an excellent way of showcasing my research within and beyond academia, and generating a wider debate on topic that affects everyone. Dr Heather Conway
School of Law
“Five laws about the dead” was read 600,000 times in a day

Read the article

Expert Requests

The daily call-out for a writer

The Expert Request is a daily call-out containing a handful of stories The Conversation's editorial team wish to cover but haven't identified a writer.

The expert request is a great opportunity for you to highlight the academic expertise at Queen's University.

These articles will be around 600-800 words.  The researcher who can bring the most in-depth understanding of the topic, the most insightful analysis or the most original angle to the story will be the person they editors chose to write it.  However, with over 65 member universities receiving the daily email, a speedy response is important to allow the Communications Office to pitch you as a potential writer.

If you are selected you will receive considerable support from the commissioning editor.

A message from the Team at The Conversation

"Many academics at Conversation member institutions have been warning for years that Britain's unwritten constitution – made up of acts, conventions and court judgments – is a fragile one. I can't count how many times I've been approached with articles about why we need a formal constitution. But trying to get readers engaged with the issue has often been frustrating.

"This, however, was far from a problem when our new prime minister moved to prorogue parliament this month. Constitutional law experts stepped up to explain what was happening and the public couldn’t get enough.

"It was the perfect example of how research that has been bubbling along in the background for decades can suddenly become the only thing anyone is talking about"

Laura Hood
Politics Editor

Upcoming Events

The Conversation events at Queen's.

Introduction to The Conversation

Workshop / Seminar / Course

Date: 22/09/2020
Time: 11:00AM - 12:30PM
Location: MS Teams - log in from home