Making Science Public as a route to better evidence

It is widely accepted that scientific evidence should play a role in policy decisions, yet the form that this should or could take remains subject to intense debate. Warren Pearce and Sujatha Raman discuss how the Making Science Public project attempts to address these questions. This article was first posted on the British Politics and Policy blog. The role of scientific evidence within policy is one […]

The scientist as political tourist: the perils of pairing

Pairing MPs with scientists could be a great start to a working relationship but Alex Smith doubts the scheme’s credibility. He argues that more grounded and sustained engagement with politics is needed for academic to gain a real insight into the policymaking process. BBC Radio Four’s ‘Today’ programme recently featured a scheme run by the Royal Society to promote interaction and […]

I disagree that I disagree! There is room for more than one method of evidence in policymaking

Academics should not get ‘bogged down’ in their perceptions of what methods of research government values. Kirsty Newman explains that when it comes to decision making in government, there is no universal preference for one form of research evidence over another. I have been meaning for some time to write a response to Andries de Toit’s paper Making Sense of […]

Evidence alone is not enough: policymakers must be able to access relevant evidence if their policy is to work

It is not enough to look for evidence of a previous policy success. Jeremy Hardie and Nancy Cartwright argue that exactly what evidence is needed, and of what, is the key question that needs to be asked for making real evidence-based social policy interventions. A great deal of impressive work has been done in evidence-based policymaking to help show what facts are  true– […]

How can we support the use of research in policy and practice across Europe?

The most common approach to encourage use of academic research is to repackage or communicate it in different ways, but Caroline Kenny finds this strategy largely ineffective. She argues that across Europe, both researchers and policymakers can benefit from training in how to interact with each other. The pressure on researchers to demonstrate research impact beyond academia has led to […]

An insider view on the relevance of political scientists to government

Following his work with the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), Matt Wood finds that political scientists must ask themselves two questions: precisely how they hope to make impact, and which society groups they want their work to be relevant to.   Carrying out the core roles of a civil servant (conducting quick and instrumental literature searches, preparing concise […]

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