Mariana Gkliati calls for a reconsideration of traditional research methods in legal studies and how these methods are communicated. Most legal scholars seek to fit their conceptual analysis into narrow and strictly legal boxes, often relying on tacit knowledge from the field. Drawing on the metaphor of elephant paths, or an overlaying system for going from place to place, and behavioural […]
We are constantly being told that chocolate is bad for our health– but is it bad for our mind? Mara P. Squicciarini and Johan Swinnen share an excerpt from their book, The Economics of Chocolate, which provides an economic analysis, as well as an interdisciplinary overview on all things chocolate. Here they explore the benefits of chocolate consumption and the impact chocolate cravings […]
Disrupting implicit bias: Crowdsourced database highlights women experts in the social sciences #WomenAlsoKnowStuff
Women academics face inherent biases in the profession that limit career progression and influence. Emily Beaulieu and Kathleen Searles reflect on the extent of the gender gap in political science and how we might address this gap. One example is the #WomenAlsoKnowStuff website, a searchable database of women experts which has become a rallying cry, with hundreds of expert […]
Academics spend less time on commercial activities than they did in 2009, writes Adi Gaskell. A new report highlights some of the consistent barriers to participation, with common factors including a lack of time and challenges around attracting interest from commercial partners. Closer relationships between scholars and the business community will make for better and faster scientific and technological discovery, and […]
High prices to access scholarly research could drive developing country researchers to use pirate sites like SciHub.
Developing countries are investing more in research and higher education and it should be no surprise that publishers are building commercial relationships to expand access and services. But prices are often still too high. Jonathan Harle argues now is a good time for the research community to reflect on what we can do to bring the cost of access down. If we […]
85% of Health Research is Wasted: How to do great research, get it published, and improve health outcomes.
Trish Groves reflects on the scandal of waste, error, and misconduct in clinical and public health research and describes a new effort to tackle research and publication integrity from both ends. This challenge matters everywhere, but it’s specially urgent in low and middle income countries. The University of California, San Francisco and BMJ have teamed up to develop an eLearning programme for […]
Book Review: The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind
In The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts, Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind give a descriptive, predictive and normative argument for the impending dissolution of our professional institutions in their current state. Although she questions the decision to leave issues of privacy, confidentiality and online security unexamined, Jennifer Miller positions this book as […]
“A soup of different inspirations”: Co-produced research and recognising impact as a process, not an outcome.
Co-produced research involves external partners from start to finish, builds lasting relationships and is actively involved in generating impact. Yet co-production sits uncomfortably with how impact is currently understood. Rachel Pain and Ruth Raynor explore how the process of co-production has the potential to make research and its outcomes richer as collaborators pool diverse ideas, expertise and skills. Impact becomes the driving […]
In Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise, Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox not only show why roads matter, but also attend to the material processes that bring roads into being through two South American case studies. Luke Heslop praises this book for showing how attention to the complexities of infrastructure projects sheds new light on the parameters of […]
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 […]
Sound evidence on Human Rights – podcast exploring new perspectives on advocacy and cutting-edge research.
On International Human Rights Day, Todd Landman describes the launch of a new podcast series. The podcast has a simple aim: to provide sound evidence on human rights in an accessible format. Human rights scholarship has advanced tremendously in the late 20th and early 21st century. The podcast format allows the listener to engage with human rights research differently. You will […]
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 […]
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 […]
Blogs are now an established part of the chattersphere/public conversation, especially in international development circles, but Duncan Green finds academic take-up lacking. Here he outlines the major arguments for taking blogging and social media seriously. It doesn’t need to become another onerous time-commitment. Reading a blog should be like listening to the person talk, but with links.
Before I started […]
WOMID: A mentoring initiative for women working in international development aims to connect research and practice.
Balancing the early stages of a research career, while simultaneously keeping up to date with developments in the field generates some unique requirements for researchers in international development. WOMID is a new global mentoring initiative for women, facilitating mentorship between early career academics and practitioners. Alex Dorgan and Beth Harrison, who co-founded WOMID based on their own experiences of doing PhDs, explain […]
Bringing together academics and businesses can be a delicate process — What can we do to encourage collaboration?
Bringing together academics and businesses can be a complex and delicate process. Most partnerships are successful, but more is needed to link businesses with academics, writes Ben McLeod. Here he shares some recent survey findings that suggest there are some very real barriers that need to be overcome. For those who do make it work, however, the process and […]