Interview with Ann Turnbull
The Real Beneficiaries of Research Grant Funds
Research and scholarly writings that aren't translated into classrooms and work environments – “academic obtuseness” - don’t benefit “the Jays of the world.” The knowledge produced must be usable by the individuals who most need it.
When you live the 24/7 reality of providing support, then you don't have much patience for a lot of academic obtuseness. When I say "obtuseness," I mean, maybe not as relevant and as applied to real life as it could be. So a lot that goes – I'm all for scholarship, and I think I've written 34 books and have about 350 journal articles.
So I've done the scholarship, but so much of the scholarship doesn't get translated into those classrooms and into those early intervention visits and into those work environments. And so having Jay made me much more eager to have work… benefit the people on whose backs it was funded. And by that, I mean, so many people get these, you know, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars of grant funds, but sometimes the grant funds end up with publications for the faculty member but not benefits for the Jays of the world.
But yet, it was the Jays of the world on whose backs that grant was promoted. You know, the rationale was written about how much the needs of people with disabilities were driving this. So I think it's made me so much more… so eager to make sure that the knowledge that is produced gets translated, and gets used by the people who need it the most.