In this section you can read recent expert commentary from LSE academics on issues related to the impact of academic research. This section also contains reviews of recent books by LSE academics and book reviews from LSE staff and alumni.
Whether writing a research article or a grant proposal, it can be difficult to pinpoint the sections and areas that need further improvement. It is useful to have a set of tactics on hand to address the work. Patrick Dunleavy outlines seven upgrade strategies for a problematic article or chapter: Do one thing well. Flatten the structure. Say it […]
As political solutions to climate change have so far had little impact, some climate change scientists are now advocating the so-called ‘Plan B’, a more direct way of reducing the rate of future warming by reflecting more sunlight back to space, creating a thermostat in the sky. In this book, Mike Hulme argues against this kind of hubristic techno-fix. Amelia Sharman is impressed […]
Lord Heseltine has called to question the UK government’s approach to counting non-EU students in its net immigration figures and has argued instead that foreign students should be excluded from government plans to cut net immigration to the UK. Higher Education is a thriving sector largely due to the diverse student body to which it seek to cater. Increasingly restricted immigration […]
Is Habermas’ concept of the public sphere still relevant in an age of globalization, when the transnational flows of people and information have become increasingly intensive and when the nation-state can no longer be taken for granted as the natural frame for social and political debate? Stefania Vicari finds that this collection provide an insightful review of Habermas’ classical theory, but it […]
In this podcast, Professor Patrick Dunleavy talks about how big data will affect the future of the social sciences. Say goodbye to academic siloes as we enter into a new age of cross/multi/and inter-disciplinary research. In this changing landscape, the old boundaries between physical, social and data science disintegrate. Here Professor Dunleavy talks about the Social Science of Human-Dominated […]
There has been much discussion over how useful citation metrics, like Google Scholar’s H-index, really are and to what extent they can be gamed. Specifically there appears to be concern over the practice of self-citation as it varies widely between disciplines. So what should academics make of self-citations? Referring back to our Handbook on Maximising the Impact of Your […]
Five minutes with Ha-Joon Chang: “Members of the general public have a duty to educate themselves in economics”
In an interview with Joel Suss, editor of the British Politics and Policy blog, Ha-Joon Chang discusses his new book, Economics: The User’s Guide, and the need for a pluralist approach to economics. He recently gave a public lecture at the LSE, the video of which can be seen here.
This post originally appeared on British Politics and Policy (BPP).
In a recent article, you wrote: […]
Participatory workshops with non-academics foster positive social impact and work as a research validation mechanism.
Non-academic research users are often powerless in the decision-making processes for how research is communicated. Jacqueline Priego-Hernandez shares lessons from a knowledge exchange toolkit which aims to address this imbalance through participatory workshops. Drawing on a Freirean approach to learning, interactions between participants and researchers are seen as a key objective in itself. She argues that plans for impact need to be devised for the benefits […]
Zambia’s Ministry of Health works with economists to determine how best to recruit and retain community health workers
Oriana Bandiera describes the close collaboration between a team of economists and the Government of Zambia to evaluate strategies to recruit, motivate and retain agents in the rollout of its National Community Health Assistant Programme. Using a randomised experiment the findings illustrate that there is no tradeoff between career incentives, skills and social values. Providing career opportunities attracts more skilled individuals who perform […]
The Impact of Social Sciences blog emerged from a three-year research project devoted to a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the complexity of academic impact. To not let any impact-relevant knowledge dissolve away, Jane Tinkler takes a look back at the outputs, outcomes and connections made throughout the research process. Whilst these figures help to establish a real-time understanding of academic […]
Everyday life in contemporary rural China is characterized by an increased sense of moral challenge and uncertainty, in which ordinary people often find themselves caught between the moral frameworks of capitalism, Maoism, and the Chinese tradition. Hans Steinmüller’s ethnographic study of the village of Zhongba, in Hubei Province, central China, is an attempt to grasp the ethical reflexivity of everyday life […]
Book Review: What Use is Sociology? Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman, Michael-Hviid Jacobsen and Keith Tester
This conversational book with Zygmunt Bauman looks at the usefulness of sociology with an aim to inspire future conversations about the discipline. Olivia Mena found this book to be a sounding board of the timeless but central questions which social theorists and practitioners must revisit regularly in the everyday practice of the ‘scientific sorcery’ that is sociology.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review […]
Academic impact, particularly within the policymaking process, can strike at unexpected moments. Earlier this week, the UK Treasury released a press release that included references to a 2010 LSE Public Policy Group report. Joel Suss, Managing Editor of British Politics and Policy blog, asks Patrick Dunleavy about the way in which the Treasury used his research findings to arrive at a figure […]
Thomas Piketty’s Capital changed the global discussion about inequality because of its great data – now make it open.
The rich data informing Thomas Piketty’s landmark research in Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been instrumental to its success. Ulrich Atz argues it is highly commendable that Piketty has made attempts to share the data files. But none of this data is explicitly open for reuse and fails to be available in machine-readable formats. Without an open licence it is not clear […]
Academic citation practices need to be modernized so that all references are digital and lead to full texts.
Researchers and academics spend a lot of time documenting the sources of the ideas, methods and evidence they have drawn on in their own writings. But Patrick Dunleavy writes that our existing citation and referencing practices are now woefully out of date and no longer fit for purpose. The whole scholarly purpose of citing sources has changed around us, […]
A journal article claiming that moderate amounts of global warming have overall positive benefits has been quietly corrected after Bob Ward pointed out a number of errors. The updated analysis now claims “impacts are always negative”, but the erroneous findings have been used to inform a recent report by the IPCC which still needs to be corrected. This episode underlines the […]
Journalists should follow the lead of media scholars and look to the Internet as a rich source of data.
Journalists rarely use the web as a source of data about the state of issues, debates and information flows in different societies. Liliana Bounegru looks at how media scholars have leveraged digital data and algorithmic accountability. In times of shrinking news budgets and staff cuts journalists can turn to such readily available sources of data as a way to understand public […]