The Conversation

About The Conversation

We are a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good.

We publish trustworthy and informative articles written by academic experts for the general public and edited by our team of journalists.

On this website (and through distribution of our articles to thousands of news outlets worldwide), you’ll find explanatory journalism on the events, discoveries and issues that matter today. Our articles share researchers’ expertise in policy, science, health, economics, education, history, ethics and most every subject studied in colleges and universities. Some articles offer practical advice grounded in research, while others simply provide authoritative answers to questions that sparked our curiosity.

The Conversation began in Melbourne, Australia, in March 2011, created and founded by Andrew Jaspan with the support of business strategist Jack Rejtman and the University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis. The UK edition launched in May 2013, followed by editions in the US (2014), South Africa and France (2015), Canada, Indonesia and New Zealand (2017), Spain (2018), and Brasil (2023). Jaspan led the U.S. launch in October 2014. Our main newsroom is in Boston, with editors working remotely in cities across the country.

Why The Conversation?

The Conversation arose out of deep-seated concerns for the fading quality of our public discourse and recognition of the vital role that academic experts could play in the public arena.

Information has always been essential to democracy. It’s a societal good, like clean water. But many now find it difficult to put their trust in the media and experts who have spent years researching a topic. Instead, they listen to those who have the loudest voices. Those uninformed views are amplified by social media networks that reward those who spark outrage instead of insight or thoughtful discussion.

The Conversation U.S. seeks to be part of the solution to this problem, to raise up the voices of true experts and to make their knowledge available to everyone.

The Conversation’s editorial process is deliberate and collaborative. Our editors pay close attention to the news environment to identify the issues citizens are concerned about. They reach out to leading scholars across academia and work with them to help them share their knowledge with the broad public.

“The clarity and connections your editors brought to our essay has helped make our research relevant and accessible to a very different and much larger audience."
Prof. Shahzeen Attari, Indiana University

Through a Creative Commons license, we distribute our articles – at no charge – to news organizations across the geographic and ideological spectrum. We pay particular attention to strengthening news organizations that are severely underresourced. The Associated Press distributes our content daily to thousands of newsrooms.

Importantly, The Conversation U.S. is committed to transparency and credibility. Authors are allowed to write only on subjects in which they have proven expertise. They must sign a disclosure statement outlining any relevant funding or affiliations. We disclose all of The Conversation U.S.’s funders. Our goals are summed up in our editorial charter.

“Working with The Conversation helped me summarize years of academic research into a succinct article.... One of my goals is to share my research with people who are not academics and to have it help them in some way. Articles in The Conversation have allowed me to do that.”
Prof. Rebecca Janzen, University of South Carolina

Our approach has hit a responsive chord: After growing steadily since our launch, our readership soared after the pandemic began in early 2020. Today, The Conversation U.S. has published scholars at more than 900 colleges and universities and more than 17,000 articles sharing their expertise on subjects from astronomy to Zoroastrianism.

If you are a scholar interested in writing for us, please send us a pitch.

Our major funding comes from the generous support of foundations and universities, as well as readers, for which we are grateful. If you value The Conversation’s journalism, we would appreciate your donation.