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    The origins of disciplines: Returning to an era of ‘infradisciplinarity’ to build solid intellectual foundations

The origins of disciplines: Returning to an era of ‘infradisciplinarity’ to build solid intellectual foundations

Without appealing to hierarchy and tradition, how might we start a root-and-branch conversation to establish academic criteria for what disciplines, units and structures to keep, and what to kill? Thinking in a serious way about how knowledge production should be organised requires setting aside the rankings charts and becoming acquainted with the origins of scholarly research and higher education […]

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    Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.

Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.

Lucie Rychetnik and Robyn Newson were part of a research group examining the ‘real-world’ impacts of health intervention research. Using an impact assessment scoring system, they found a wide range of possible impacts. They also found local contextual and organisational factors, and unpredictable windows of opportunity were as important as the skills of individual researchers and the quality of their research.

Increasingly, in both […]

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    Amid mounting political and social uncertainty, institutions must evolve to support evidence-based decision-making.

Amid mounting political and social uncertainty, institutions must evolve to support evidence-based decision-making.

Knowledge exchange is a process often discussed in vague detail in relation to research impact. Chris Cvitanovic looks at the available exchange mechanisms for marine scientists and decision-makers. Survey findings suggest that while engaging with decision-makers was important to scientists on a personal level, a range of barriers prevent this from happening. Formal recognition of engagement activities and dedicated funding and resources […]

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    Actions speak louder than words: Adaptive non-verbal communication is a key leadership skill for collaborative teams.

Actions speak louder than words: Adaptive non-verbal communication is a key leadership skill for collaborative teams.

Non-verbal communication is extremely influential in interpersonal encounters, and knowing how to leverage non-verbal signals effectively can be a key leadership skill. Connson Locke shares her research findings that suggest displaying an overly-confident and authoritative non-verbal communication can have a damaging effect on a team’s sharing of information and collaboration.

This piece originally appeared on British Politics and Policy.

It is widely accepted that […]

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    Hacking the system of social influence: How can we use the mechanics of influence to drive behaviour for public good?

Hacking the system of social influence: How can we use the mechanics of influence to drive behaviour for public good?

Social influence is one of the most cited and yet least understood concepts in strategy and public policy today. While many people understand its critical importance in viral marketing campaigns, technology adoption, protest movements and other collective behaviours, there is little agreement on how it can be measured and harnessed for the greater good. In this post Vyacheslav Polonski explores how […]

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    The queerness of political science: challenging and destabilizing the discipline’s boundaries

The queerness of political science: challenging and destabilizing the discipline’s boundaries

Key perspectives and contributions – including those from queer scholars – are, in effect, written out of the discipline of political science, argues Nicola Smith. Far from being the highly multifaceted and inclusive field that it purports itself to be, political science is presenting itself in ways that marginalise the very work that is being treated as central in other social science […]

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    The economics of attention: Is there an appropriate balance between the interests of information providers and users?

The economics of attention: Is there an appropriate balance between the interests of information providers and users?

Attention has become a critical resource for decision-making in the digital age. But differing approaches in economics present widely different understandings of the role attention plays in modern life, argue Agnès Festré and Pierre Garrouste. There are risks in confining the field to be concerned solely with information provision and noise filtering, without recognising how attention shapes problem-solving and rationality.

The “economics […]

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    Positioning educational technology around the three Rs universities care about: Recruitment, Retention and Reputation

Positioning educational technology around the three Rs universities care about: Recruitment, Retention and Reputation

Technological development in higher education has been a slow-moving process. Martin Weller makes the case for a more pragmatic approach that looks to align current innovations with the areas vice chancellors, provosts and presidents are already concerned about: recruitment, retention and reputation. It may be less exciting, but ultimately a more useful approach to embedding valuable, learning-centred technologies across universities.

Whenever a new […]

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    The misuse of psychological arguments in the immigration debate: why social psychology matters in the real world.

The misuse of psychological arguments in the immigration debate: why social psychology matters in the real world.

Professor Steve Reicher recently gave a lecture on the fundamental questions facing social psychology. Amena Amer reflects on the implications of the talk and the importance of social psychologists being at the forefront of discussions on issues like immigration. The fundamental question for social psychology according to Reicher is to understand what the structures are that create essentialised categories and to call […]

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    Academics should express an “editorial mission” in order to create consistent media content

Academics should express an “editorial mission” in order to create consistent media content

There is now substantial space and appetite for academic content on the web, but maintaining momentum on these platforms can be an uphill struggle with other pressing teaching and research priorities. Kevin Anselmo looks at what researchers can learn from media companies and argues it is important to think about the driving forces that will enable you to execute your […]

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    Passing Review: how the R-index aims to improve the peer-review system by quantifying reviewer contributions.

Passing Review: how the R-index aims to improve the peer-review system by quantifying reviewer contributions.

Peer review is flawed. Look no further than the storm of attention over sexist reviewer comments. A new index proposes a simple way to create transparency and quality control mechanisms. Shane Gero and Maurício Cantor believe that giving citable recognition to reviewers can improve the system by encouraging more participation but also higher quality, constructive input, without the need for a […]

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    The Future of Knowledge Sharing for Development in a Digital Age: Delivering an open and fair digital society.

The Future of Knowledge Sharing for Development in a Digital Age: Delivering an open and fair digital society.

Rachel Playforth introduces a new report on how digital technologies might contribute to or damage development agendas in the coming years. Through scenario development planning, the project investigated the landscape of developing countries in the digital age and how practitioners and policymakers might best respond. None of the scenarios below represents the most desirable outcome, but by working backwards from an ideal […]

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