To accompany the 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, Education Week Commentary partnered with Frederick M. Hess to invite four education and policy scholars to discuss the following query: Are there costs or negative consequences that can follow when academics wade into public debate, especially in this polarized era of ubiquitous hot takes? How do we distinguish between a scholar making a distinctive contribution to the public square and a scholar becoming just one more partisan? How do scholars engage in heated public discourse without compromising the scholarly mission of the university or the credibility of their own work? Do scholars or their institutions have an obligation to monitor and maintain that line? If so, how would you encourage them to do so?