The current enthusiasm for evidenced-based policy needs to be met with a greater degree of methodological caution

Michael Bassey encourages the government’s foray into evidence-based policy-making, yet with a note of methodological caution: good research only provides an indication of what may work, rather than a definitive solution. Instead of expecting policy to be evidence-based, it should be seen as evidence-informed. On 4th March the Cabinet Office issued this press release regarding the launch of the what works centres: A new […]

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. The role of scientific evidence within policy is one of the most vexed issues within politics […]

Research uptake and impact: are we in danger of overstating ourselves?

Wary of the pressure that researchers are under to demonstrate impact, Louise Shaxson injects a dose of realism into the debate around what that impact ought to look like. Researchers must provide clear policy messages, carefully define the relevance of their research, be realistic about what can be achieved, and be clear about whether they’re practising research communication or advocacy. This was originally […]

January 26th, 2013|Impact, Louise Shaxson|0 Comments|

Research-based policymaking is complicated… or is it?

Having an impact on policymaking with your research may seem like an impenetrable dream when academics start of think of the tangled web of policy interactions that they must navigate. Kirsty Newman explains that the policymaking process is easy… once you know how. This article first appeared on the LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences blog If you’ve ever seen a talk by a member of the Research […]

December 8th, 2012|Impact|0 Comments|

Addressing the challenge of climate change must be done discursively through argument, debate and academic evidence

Academic evidence should expect to be challenged, particularly when that research partners uncertainty with important social policy issues. Nafees Meah writes that social scientists and their counterparts involved in climage change research must be ready to push forward their evidence and be prepared to defend it. I think it is not an overstatement to say that climate change and energy policy would […]

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 presentations for ministers, verifying […]

June 2nd, 2012|Impact|1 Comment|

It is time to move away from policy witchcraft and into an era where evidence is taken seriously

Adrian Beecroft’s report on employment law has angered many who feel his recommendations are partisan and seek to erode a number of worker’s rights. John Van Reenen argues that although the report is both timely and addresses key issues in regulation, Beecroft appears to have ignored the wealth of research into the economic effects of employment laws. This evidence goes against his view that […]

Book Review: Think Tank: The Story of the Adam Smith Institute, by Madsen Pirie

In Think Tank: The Story of the Adam Smith Institute, Madsen Pirie documents the fascinating history of one of the world’s biggest think tanks, and the many projects in which it has been engaged over the past three decades. Donald Abelson values the wealth of information with which scholars can develop and refine their observations about how think tanks exercise influence. Think Tank: The […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.