The title addresses scholarship in general, but I will direct my remarks specifically toward philosophy, as that is the scholarship I am most familiar with.
Certainly it is the case that being a public person is a kind of exposure that is often uncomfortable for everyone. But the issue here is not what makes you cozy, but what fulfills your responsibilities.
In a recent essay in The Guardian, James Mulholland offers what I find to be a deeply flawed argument against the idea of academics taking serious steps to make their work accessible to the broader public. Within my general academic area, this is known as “Public Philosophy.” Mulholland insists that, “It is time for us to reassess what we mean by public scholarship. We must recognise the value of the esoteric knowledge, technical vocabulary and expert histories that academics produce.” This is in the context of a world where, Mulholland tells us, “Academics are constantly encouraged to engage with the public more often,” advice which he rejects because, he insists, “this advice ignores the way that specialised knowledge already affects civic life. Specialisation has social importance, but often only after decades of work.”