• Alma_Mater_Europaea_university_graduation_ceremony._Maribor,_Slovenia,_12_March_2013
    Permalink Gallery

    British universities excel in the social sciences. How much of their success depends on EU membership?

British universities excel in the social sciences. How much of their success depends on EU membership?

Some British academics have argued that the social sciences would suffer if the UK left the Union, on the grounds that the EU brings funding and enhances collaboration. But the EU’s contribution to this area is not that simple, argues David Walker. Nor is it correct to claim, as the Leave lobby has, that money currently handed to Europe could […]

Print Friendly
  • parliament lobby
    Permalink Gallery

    Activism or research communication? Research organisations could be muzzled by UK charity anti-advocacy clause.

Activism or research communication? Research organisations could be muzzled by UK charity anti-advocacy clause.

Think tanks and research organisations should not ignore the row that has broken out over the recent announcement by the UK government to introduce an anti-advocacy clause into all charity grants. James Georgalakis argues that this move, if fully implemented could have serious consequences for research-based charities seeking to support evidence based policy making, despite the government’s focus on research […]

Print Friendly
  • TAA–University_bargaining,_1970
    Permalink Gallery

    Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

A series of studies across countries and disciplines in higher education confirm that student evaluations of teaching (SET) are significantly correlated with instructor gender, with students regularly rating female instructors lower than male peers. Anne Boring, Kellie Ottoboni and Philip B. Stark argue the findings warrant serious attention in light of increasing pressure on universities to measure teaching effectiveness. Given the unreliability […]

Print Friendly
  • Cornelis_Brizé_-_Treasurers'_papers_and_documents_-_Google_Art_Project
    Permalink Gallery

    Policy impact and online attention: Tracking the path from research to public policy on the social web.

Policy impact and online attention: Tracking the path from research to public policy on the social web.

The process by which research gets put into action is far from clear cut, argues Stacy Konkiel. Extracting references to research from policy documents is a step towards illuminating the murky path. But we should be careful not to disregard other forms of evidence like online and media mentions as they are closely interrelated and may even lead to quicker impacts […]

Print Friendly
  • Experts_Expect_the_Unexpected._Nubra
    Permalink Gallery

    The politics of science funding: We need to think about science and knowledge production in a more practical light

The politics of science funding: We need to think about science and knowledge production in a more practical light

Government funding of science has become an increasingly prominent issue in the United States. Examining the current debate and its consequences, Arne L. Kalleberg interviews Gordon Gauchat about his recent article, “The Political Context of Science in the United States: Public Acceptance of Evidence-Based Policy and Science Funding.”

How might your study help us understand the current political debate in […]

Print Friendly
  • Congreso_de_los_Diputados_(España)_02
    Permalink Gallery

    An election propelled by academia? Blurring the lines between political science and politics in Spain

An election propelled by academia? Blurring the lines between political science and politics in Spain

The recent Spanish general election has proven to be fertile ground for interactions between politics and academia. Tena Prelec and Stuart Brown single out two phenomena that have developed in Spain: the progressive engagement of precariously-paid junior scholars in politics, and a thriving community of young academic commentators which supplements, and in some cases supplants, the work of the mainstream media.

The results of the Spanish elections on […]

Print Friendly
  • ice caps climate change
    Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: The Two Degrees Dangerous Limit for Climate Change: Public Understanding and Decision Making

Book Review: The Two Degrees Dangerous Limit for Climate Change: Public Understanding and Decision Making

In The Two Degrees Dangerous Limit for Climate Change: Public Understanding and Decision Making, Christopher Shaw explores environmental policymaking by focusing on the public circulation of 2°C as the widely cited maximum figure by which temperatures can be allowed to rise. Derek Wall praises the book for combining natural science and social science to offer a well-researched and provocative interrogation of […]

Print Friendly
  • mortarboards
    Permalink Gallery

    Universities need to hone their argument for staying in the EU

Universities need to hone their argument for staying in the EU

Emran Mian looks at four arguments that British universities have so far mustered for staying in the EU – and says universities must engage further, detail by detail, with the Eurosceptic rebuttals to these arguments. Even in universities the support for staying in the EU is soft. There is still time for universities to construct better arguments.

A referendum on […]

Print Friendly
  • google car data
    Permalink Gallery

    How can social scientists and policymakers use Google Street View data to help build healthier communities?

How can social scientists and policymakers use Google Street View data to help build healthier communities?

The last decade has seen an explosion of ‘Big Data’ sources about society which have opened up new avenues of research for social scientists. In new research, Li Yin looks at how Google Street View can be used to make more accurate pedestrian counts in urban areas compared to more traditional methods. She writes that this information can in […]

Print Friendly
  • arrow
    Permalink Gallery

    Can social science still be used as a foundation for public policy? On improving the reliability of evidence.

Can social science still be used as a foundation for public policy? On improving the reliability of evidence.

John Jerrim and Robert de Vries argue a radical overhaul is needed of how social science is published and produced for it to provide a helpful basis for public policy. More progress is needed in particular over the lack of transparency of the research process, publication bias for positive findings and improved quality assurance mechanisms for peer review.

Governments have started to wake […]

Print Friendly
  • kid internet#
    Permalink Gallery

    6 things policymakers need to know about children and the internet

6 things policymakers need to know about children and the internet

The digital environment offers many opportunities, but also opens up certain risks, particularly for children. How can government action look to maximise children’s online opportunities – thereby boosting digital skills and literacies – without substantially adding to their risks? Sonia Livingstone presents six points that policymakers should consider to encourage wider support of children’s digital opportunities.

I’ve been researching children’s internet use […]

Print Friendly

Spending Review brings good news for science.

The government’s recognition of the value of the UK research budget in the Spending Review is good news for science and good news for the economy. Romesh Vaitilingam argues new knowledge and innovative ideas generated by research – whether done in the public or private sector – are key drivers of productivity growth. But without public investment, society as […]

Print Friendly
  • Jerusalem1
    Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: Jerusalem: The Spatial Politics of a Divided Metropolis by Anne B. Shlay and Gillad Rosen

Book Review: Jerusalem: The Spatial Politics of a Divided Metropolis by Anne B. Shlay and Gillad Rosen

In Jerusalem: The Spatial Politics of a Divided Metropolis, Anne B. Shlay and Gillad Rosen outline the geographic dynamics of contemporary Jerusalem. While the book is occasionally simplistic in some areas of its analysis, Kenny Schmitt praises the authors for navigating complex terrain with skill and clarity to produce an approachable introduction to the spatial politics of the city.

This […]

Print Friendly

Essential Guide: Eight ways research gets into Parliament

Discussions about research and policy have a tendency to be more reflective about policy-making in general, rather than focusing on the more practical aspects of how research filters through a variety of networks and into policy discussions. Sarah Foxen looks at eight specific ways research currently gets into Parliament and provides some helpful links on where to start to get more involved.

I recently attended […]

Print Friendly
  • lecture hall teaching
    Permalink Gallery

    Peer review of teaching and the TEF – We need more than a tick-box exercise to improve the quality of teaching.

Peer review of teaching and the TEF – We need more than a tick-box exercise to improve the quality of teaching.

Improving teaching in universities is a worthy aim, but how will the Teaching Excellence Framework recognise and reward quality? Marty Chamberlain looks at how teaching is currently assessed. Peer review of teaching tends to operate superficially when it is decoupled from formal staff development and employee feedback processes. Further complicating matters, in professions underpinned by tacit knowledge, experts tend to rely on personal and […]

Print Friendly
  • uk architecture
    Permalink Gallery

    Data enriched research, data enhanced impact: the importance of UK data infrastructure.

Data enriched research, data enhanced impact: the importance of UK data infrastructure.

Matthew Woollard discusses the importance of UK data infrastructure and how the systematic management and sharing of research data can lead to many benefits for the research community and the public. Here he introduces #DataImpact2015 where a panel of leading data innovators will explore data re-use in policy and research, sharing their experiences of demonstrating data enhanced impact.

The UK Data Service is trusted to […]

Print Friendly
  • sun
    Permalink Gallery

    Addressing societal challenges: Joined-up research funding could facilitate innovation and engagement.

Addressing societal challenges: Joined-up research funding could facilitate innovation and engagement.

With changes looming for research councils and research funding as a whole, John Goddard looks at what a more joined-up research council driven by societal challenges would mean for the social sciences. Universities are going to have to increase their capacity to support engagement with society. The social science community therefore needs to actively enter into the fray locally and […]

Print Friendly
  • Downsitting_of_the_Scottish_Parliament_detail
    Permalink Gallery

    Getting smarter about engaging with Parliament: Embrace digital, think interdisciplinary and plan for serendipity.

Getting smarter about engaging with Parliament: Embrace digital, think interdisciplinary and plan for serendipity.

Jennifer Jeffes investigates how higher education institutions can support long-term strategies to boost engagement with Parliament. Strong research relationships spring up often organically, sometimes serendipitously, but almost never overnight. This should serve as a caution to the sector not to take too instrumental a view of research impact, instead focusing on the positive benefits that can yield from developing sustainable research […]

Print Friendly
  • LSE students
    Permalink Gallery

    The effect of NSS scores and league tables on student demand and university application rates is relatively small.

The effect of NSS scores and league tables on student demand and university application rates is relatively small.

As competition for student recruitment continues to intensify, policymakers and administrators are encouraging an emphasis on ‘student experience’. The National Student Survey (NSS) scores are one indicator that attempts to measure this. But do students really take any notice of NSS scores in making their university choices? Stephen Gibbons shares findings which suggest the effect of changes in NSS scores on […]

Print Friendly
  • 800px-Magnifying_glass_with_focus_on_paper
    Permalink Gallery

    Reading List: Teaching excellence and the proposed changes to the higher education landscape #HEgreenpaper

Reading List: Teaching excellence and the proposed changes to the higher education landscape #HEgreenpaper

The government have published the highly anticipated consultation document on the future of UK higher education titled “Fulfilling Our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice” which outlines key changes for the sector including the Teaching Excellence Framework, an Office for Students, and tweaks to research funding and assessment. Here we have compiled pieces previously featured on the LSE Impact […]

Print Friendly
This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.