Researchers: Write for Us

Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center, reports on scientific findings about positive behaviors and emotions, including themes such as gratitude, empathy, forgiveness, mindfulness, diversity, awe, and happiness—what we call "the science of a meaningful life." Our goal? To translate and disseminate this science to promote a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. With over five million annual readers, Greater Good offers stories, tools, and tips for the general public, especially parents, educators, health professionals, business leaders, and policymakers. Why write for Greater Good? To raise awareness about your work—and make it practical to our wide audience and the people they serve. Indeed, many of our contributors are researchers interested in expanding the reach and impact of their work. As a researcher, you could contribute an essay taking one of several forms: 1. An essay about your research and its implications for daily life (1,000-2,000 words). Psychologist Kristin Neff published many groundbreaking papers about self-compassion in academic journals before publishing her first essay in Greater Good—which, within a few years, reached over half a million readers. Similarly, Frans de Waal distilled decades of primate studies to explain the “evolution of empathy.” 2. A scientific response to a current controversy (1,000-2,000 words). Paul Bloom’s book, Against Empathy, kicked off a round of debate about the place of empathy in public policy. Researcher Sara Konrath brought some scientific nuance to the discussion with her essay for Greater Good. Kelly McGonigal took a different approach: After the 2016 election, she used her research on stress to help readers “find the good in a nasty election cycle.” 3. A list of insights or tips based on past research (1,000-1,500 words). These are pieces that identify a specific trend or give an overview of a body of research, organizing various findings into an easily digestible list. For example, Barbara Fredrickson turned her studies on love into tips for keeping an old love alive. These pieces can be especially effective if they surprise the reader, as June Gruber did when she described how happiness can hurt you. 4. An overview of the state of the research in your field (1,500-2,000 words). These are pieces that highlight the key findings about a particular subject, and may acknowledge what questions remain unanswered. That’s what Hooria Jazaieri did when she explored what we still don’t know about mindfulness meditation. 5. A summary of a recent study, including its implications (800-1,200 words). Many graduate students have tackled these pieces, which focus on an academic paper that was published in the past half year, offering implications or recommendations based on your expertise. 6. A profile of an applied, research-based program (1,000-2,000 words). These pieces look at a specific program or intervention, pulling lessons from this example that could be applied elsewhere. They could cover a program created within a company or developed by a separate training organization, validated by research; or a rigorous intervention developed within the context of a research study but tested in a real-world setting. Either way, the goal is to highlight what works and why, so that its core principles can be integrated into other settings. To pitch to Greater Good, please send an email to jeremysmith@berkeley.edu including a short paragraph outlining the article you hope to write, PDFs of the main studies you plan to cite, and links to other mainstream writing you’ve done. (If you’re not interested in writing for Greater Good, we would still like to hear about your latest work! Please send new papers or books to kiramnewman@berkeley.edu.)