The opposition between Flinders and John is largely a false one, and consequently the argument between them is rather ritualistic. On the major issue – that political science must engage in political and public debate – Flinders and John agree. Whether there was once a golden age of academic engagement or whether we are now at the high point, at one level does not really matter; what matters more is that political scientists should be engaging with, and responsive to, public debate. We set out an ‘impact imperative’ and its sister, the ‘feminist imperative’, arguing that feminist scholarship has always sought to engage with the real world of politics. We set out a series of recommendations to institutionalise and normalise impact, engagement and dissemination into work models and working practices, which if well managed should not detract from serious scholarship or require an aggressive campaign strategy for dissemination. Instead our approach is based on cooperation between academics, across disciplinary silos and the methodological divide.