This article reflects on the challenges of mixing public advocacy, teaching, and research in Irish third level education. It explores the concept of academic activism and introduces concepts of 'public sociologist' and 'pracademic' to contextualize my own academic trajectory and activism. Having reflected on general academic activism in the context of challenges facing Irish civil society, the focus then shifts to a personal case study. The conclusion addresses the ambiguities and tensions of pursuing a particular approach to academic life. The need for academic activism is intensifying in the context of the neoliberalization of Irish universities, a weakening civil society, and a more precarious academic life.