What do academic conferences contribute? How do academic conferences make a difference both in the lives of academics and wider society? Donald J Nicolson looks at a few examples of conferences that have been able to make a demonstrable impact and argues it is to the benefit of the academy to learn more about how to get the most […]
The inevitable chaos and unpredictability of politics makes trying to achieve policy change a real challenge. But that doesn’t mean academics should just give up. Drawing from policy analysis and public affairs lessons, James Lloyd recommends six steps to get researchers going in the right direction towards achieving policy change.
Last month I wrote a piece for the LSE Impact blog […]
UCL Student Engager project provides platform for PhD students to develop skills in public engagement.
Kevin Guyan provides background on the Student Engager project, a UCL programme for PhD students to engage with the public over museum collections and ongoing research. Projects like this could play a vital role in training the next generation of academics in a way that highlights the benefits of sharing research with non-university audiences.
If you visit one of UCL’s […]
The Impact Blog is currently recruiting for the position of Editor. This is a great opportunity to join our team and help shape the future of scholarly communication! The Communications Division at LSE is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual with experience working with academic writing and a keen interest in digital scholarship and academic impact to work as […]
How should academics interact with policy makers? Lessons on building a long-term advocacy strategy.
What can academics learn from how civil society organisations and NGOs approach policy impact? Julia Himmrich argues that academics have a lot to gain from embracing the practices of long-term advocacy. Advocacy is about establishing relationships and creating a community of experts both in and outside of government who can give informed input on policies. Being more aware of the […]
The relatively low impact of many academic conferences suggests it may be time for a rethink, argues Duncan Green. ‘Manels’ (male only panels) are an outrage, but why not go for complete abolition, rather than mere gender balance? With people reading out papers, terrible powerpoints crammed with too many words, or illegible graphics, it is time for innovation in format. We […]
“We should expect more, not less of our profession”: Responses to ‘Should academics be expected to change policy?’
James Lloyd’s recent post “Should academics be expected to change policy? Six reasons why it is unrealistic for research to drive policy change” has received considerable attention in research and policy circles since it was first published two weeks ago. Drawing on their respective experiences with research impact in policymaking, Chris Neff, Paul Smyth and Luke Craven each offer […]
Social scientists have long been concerned with inequality, yet the focus has often been on its theoretical and political aspects. This is now starting to change, writes Mike Savage. Thanks to research interventions by scholars, together with attempts to institutionalise cross-disciplinary work, the focus is shifting from normative debates and towards the more technical, empirical and historical problems of inequality.
Presenting a collection of diary-style entries as though from a single academic year, Les Back chronicles three decades of his career in Academic Diary: Or Why Higher Education Still Matters. The book offers witty and thought-provoking insight into such topics as writing, PhD supervision, viva examiners and dealing with academic colleagues, as well as reflecting on some of the serious […]
The significant absence of expert women’s voices from media debates and academic events related to the EU Referendum has been widely reported. Roberta Guerrina, Toni Haastrup, Katharine Wright share a list of women EU experts and argue there are in fact many women voices on these issues and they are not difficult to find. More work needs to be done by political […]
Accuracy, Transparency and Improv! Best practices for building trust between scientists and communications staff
Researchers are increasingly considering the communication of their work, but it is equally worth considering the many actors at universities and external organisations that are already engaged in these activities. Often, misunderstandings and unclear objectives of the collaboration lead to a breakdown in trust. Aaron Huertas looks at how scientists and communications staff can build effective relationships.
A lot of […]
From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences. But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper articles or blogs and require a level of skill and undoubtedly a greater amount of patience. Here Jennifer Raff has prepared a helpful guide for non-scientists on how to read a scientific paper. These steps […]
Taking Culture Seriously: How can we build positive change and coherent practice within our research communities?
Change in higher education often progresses slowly. If scholars are serious about wanting to change disciplinary and institutional cultures and not merely to wait for Cultural Change to magically happen, Cameron Neylon argues we need to consider the differing approaches to how certain cultures operate, interact and eventually change. Ultimately, change in higher education requires a variety of levers […]