Following a recent GERN conference on ‘civic criminologies’ Professor Ian Loader participated in a roundtable discussion on how criminology engages with public debates about crime and justice. The discussion explores the role and value of criminology, and academia more broadly, in a democratic society. The recent publication by Ian Loader and Richard Sparks, Public Criminology?, is taken as the starting point for discussion, and after outlining some of the key points of the book, participants respond with their own experiences and perspectives. Other participants are Richard Sparks (Edinburgh), Sarah Armstrong (Glasgow), Fergus McNeil (Glasgow) and Jonathan Simon (Berkeley). You can listen to the discussion online.