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    Doing things differently: By embracing the politics of Higher Education, academics can help create a better system.

Doing things differently: By embracing the politics of Higher Education, academics can help create a better system.

With higher education in constant flux around the latest assessment exercise, to what extent are academics and administrators ‘hitting the target and missing the point’? John Turnpenny discusses the critical role of the arts and humanities and the grudging acceptance of the linear-rational model for evidence-based decision-making. He argues that by acknowledging that higher education policy is something we help create, rather than […]

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    Bad apples or rotten barrels? How sociological thinking can help address financial misconduct.

Bad apples or rotten barrels? How sociological thinking can help address financial misconduct.

A key issue for financial regulators facing the misconduct scandals plaguing the banking industry is deciding whether to use a more agent-centric approach that targets individual behaviour or to implement more structural solutions aimed at wider culture. But without having a clear idea of what the culture is, it is impossible to create adequate prescriptions for improvement. Siân Lewin suggests two ideas […]

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    Can metrics be used responsibly? Structural conditions in Higher Ed push against expert-led, reflexive approach.

Can metrics be used responsibly? Structural conditions in Higher Ed push against expert-led, reflexive approach.

Do institutions and academics have a free choice in how they use metrics? Meera Sabaratnam argues that structural conditions in the present UK Higher Education system inhibit the responsible use of metrics. Funding volatility, rankings culture, and time constraints are just some of the issues making it highly improbable that the sector is capable of enacting the approach that the Metric […]

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    Book Review: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics

Book Review: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics

Reviewer Adam Oliver finds that Richard Thaler’s new book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics, covers the core concepts of behavioural economics, but finds that this book is more a ‘personal intellectual history, supplemented by stories, anecdotes and occasional reposts to past combatants’ that misses two important issues relating to suggestions for the future development of behavioural economics.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review […]

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    Job security for early career researchers is a significant factor in helping research make an impact.

Job security for early career researchers is a significant factor in helping research make an impact.

Doctorate holders’ careers are increasingly diverse and research funders have a strong interest in exploring how their investment has contributed to the career paths of the researchers supported and how their work benefits society. Funders are also looking to understand the challenges, bottlenecks and opportunities at different career stages in order to tailor policies and activities to researchers’ needs. Siobhan […]

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    How can universities increase Green Open Access? Article deposit rates soar after direct solicitation from library.

How can universities increase Green Open Access? Article deposit rates soar after direct solicitation from library.

Universities have struggled to increase article deposit rates for their institutional repositories. Regardless of citation benefits and top-down mandates, getting faculty to adjust publishing workflows does not happen overnight. At their institution, Michael Boock and Hui Zhang found that direct solicitation of author manuscripts has been the most effective method of reaching a higher deposit rate.

Authors who wish to provide open […]

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    Unless we change how we think about transparency, open data is unlikely to have a significant political impact at local level.

Unless we change how we think about transparency, open data is unlikely to have a significant political impact at local level.

Open data and transparency have long been heralded as welcome innovations by policymakers and politicians, and the current Government has made it a priority at both a national and local level. But when it comes to the latter, how effective has it been and how much have citizens made use of it? Mark Frank argues that local authorities continued use […]

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    Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.

Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.

The high-profile political science study on same-sex marriage views in the U.S., now determined to be fraudulent, is the latest case exposing the need for incentive structures that make academic research open, transparent, and replicable. The U.S. study has been retracted, largely thanks to the discovery of inconsistencies in the data by an outside group. The academic community must […]

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    “Who would want to live in a world made up entirely of scientists?” Australia’s Chief Scientist calls for cooperation

“Who would want to live in a world made up entirely of scientists?” Australia’s Chief Scientist calls for cooperation

Reporting on a recent workshop where Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb outlined the key priorities for research and funding, Jacqui Hoepner discusses the long-term future of Australian research. Professor Chubb stressed the importance of having a broader national conversation about how they will achieve societal change and how researchers should work to meet those ends.

A few weeks ago Australia’s […]

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    Literacy as Numbers: The efficacy, merits and validity of transnational literacy assessment programmes.

Literacy as Numbers: The efficacy, merits and validity of transnational literacy assessment programmes.

Debates about the nature of literacy and how to account for the diversity of learning are far from resolved. A new book, Literacy as Numbers, looks at how literacy itself is being reframed around globalized assessment regimes. Camilla Addey delves into how these comparable numbers, now so heavily relied on in national policy, are produced, and how they are shaping our understanding of the meanings and […]

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    Opening the black box of clinical decision making: Interpretation is a central feature in evidence-based medicine.

Opening the black box of clinical decision making: Interpretation is a central feature in evidence-based medicine.

How can different knowledge components, such as scientific evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preference, within the evidence-based medicine (EBM) framework be combined? Do trustworthy decisions fall out as clear-cut conclusions as part of an algorithm when an EBM approach is used? Eivind Engebretsen, Nina Køpke Vøllestad, Astrid Klopstad Wahl, Hilde Stendal Robinson and Kristin Heggen use the four stages of knowing presented by […]

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    Paying for higher education: What do the UK political party policies mean for universities, graduates and students?

Paying for higher education: What do the UK political party policies mean for universities, graduates and students?

Next week’s UK General Election is set to go down to the wire and university financing has again emerged as a key battleground issue. What do the various party policies mean for universities, graduates and students? Should tuition fees be regulated lower and if so, how will these costs be financed? Gill Wyness explores these questions.

This piece originally appeared on LSE […]

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    ‘Nudges’ may be effective at times, but policymakers can’t rely on them to tackle entrenched social problems.

‘Nudges’ may be effective at times, but policymakers can’t rely on them to tackle entrenched social problems.

Since the publication of 2008’s Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, policy ‘nudges’ have been in fashion, with smaller interventions aimed at altering public behaviour in a subtle manner being adopted by many governments, including in the UK. Frank Mols looked at this phenomenon in a recent journal article, and argues here that while nudges undoubtedly can be effective, their limitations must be […]

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    Measuring development: the importance of statistics on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Measuring development: the importance of statistics on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

In 2013 the UN set up a specific group to look at broadening its data gathering. This is part of a wider trend looking to embrace partnerships that can provide regular evidence of development progress. Thomas Wheeler and Craig Fagan argue that in the age of ‘open’ government, budgets, contracts and aid, there is no reason why data should remain the remit […]

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    The political role of intellectuals: In defence of Hampstead socialists

The political role of intellectuals: In defence of Hampstead socialists

Under Ed Miliband, the Labour Party’s ideational activities have taken centre stage. His wonky style is derided by many, but gurus, intellectuals and policy wonks perform a crucial role in the political process, says Eunice Goes. The role of intellectuals and experts does not stop with political diagnosis. They also help political actors, and in particular political parties, to develop ideas […]

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    Academic freedom under threat as US Congress targets climate change scholars.

Academic freedom under threat as US Congress targets climate change scholars.

A few weeks ago allegations surfaced over undisclosed ties between Dr Willie Soon, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and corporate interests from the energy industry. Dr Soon is now under investigation, and a Democratic member of Congress has used it as an opportunity to suggest climate change academics who have been invited by Republicans to give evidence at Congressional […]

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