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    Evidence and innovation in humanitarian assistance: ‘Conference without Borders’ to address Syrian conflict #MSFSci

Evidence and innovation in humanitarian assistance: ‘Conference without Borders’ to address Syrian conflict #MSFSci

The MSF Scientific Days are a round of conferences looking at how humanitarian action can be improved by scientific research and innovation. On behalf of the organisers, Sarah Venis presents an overview. This year will feature a strong focus on the effects of the Syrian conflict and the resultant refugee and migration crisis. Another theme will also look at how […]

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    Is it really that difficult to find women to talk about the EU Referendum?

Is it really that difficult to find women to talk about the EU Referendum?

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 […]

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    Accuracy, Transparency and Improv! Best practices for building trust between scientists and communications staff

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 […]

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    Elephant paths: Wider methodological transparency is needed for legal scholarship to thrive.

Elephant paths: Wider methodological transparency is needed for legal scholarship to thrive.

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 […]

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    Chocolate provides a unique sensory experience: Uncovering the secret of the ‘chocolate craving’.

Chocolate provides a unique sensory experience: Uncovering the secret of the ‘chocolate craving’.

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 […]

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    Open innovation is growing, but universities may be missing out on the action

Open innovation is growing, but universities may be missing out on the action

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 […]

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    High prices to access scholarly research could drive developing country researchers to use pirate sites like SciHub.

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 […]

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    85% of Health Research is Wasted: How to do great research, get it published, and improve health outcomes.

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 […]

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    Book Review: The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

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 […]

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    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 […]

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    Book Review: Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise by Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox

Book Review: Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise by Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox

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 […]

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    Sound evidence on Human Rights – podcast exploring new perspectives on advocacy and cutting-edge research.

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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously

An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously

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 […]

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    Looking Forward: Social data informs us about society, but also about the forces that will come to shape the future.

Looking Forward: Social data informs us about society, but also about the forces that will come to shape the future.

From online engagement software to leveraging search data for prediction, social data analysis is at the forefront of groundbreaking research. Anne Burns explores the topics recently discussed by academics and industry leaders. Academia needs to be aware of these discussions in order to provide a critical response to them and to assist in developing ethical and sustainable forms of practice. […]

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