Social science’s trustworthiness is under threat. In order to save it, argues Chris Sampson, we must shift our focus away from media engagement and towards direct public engagement. We need to communicate the findings of our existing research, but just as important is the potential to learn through engaging with wider groups of people. Everyone ought to be a […]
In the States, ‘clinical’ sociologists are frequently hired to address problems within all various organisations and corporations. The UK is still catching up to this, argues Nick Fox. There are some great examples of the use of sociological approaches in public and private sectors, but sociologists interested in applying knowledge to fields of work outside academia need to identify the tools, knowledge […]
Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp from the University of the West of England, Bristol offer support for researchers looking to track and evidence the unique, creative and often qualitative outcomes of public engagement and communication activities. Rather than an add-on to the research, it may be possible to embed evaluation within the research project itself.
As science communication researchers and practitioners, we’ve been […]
Modelling Engagement: Using theatre-based workshops to explore citizenship and research participation.
Recent research highlights the significant contribution that migrant mothers make to UK society. Dr Umut Erel from the Open University looks at how theatre was used as a strategy to co-produce this research. The workshops and resulting research findings demonstrate the value of two-way exchange between participants and researchers. The evidence suggests it is time to reframe the debate […]
In March 2016, Democratic Dashboard 2.0 was launched, a web portal aimed at giving voters in the UK easily accessible information for the elections on May 5th. This was the culmination of several years of work and preparation by Democratic Audit UK, based in the LSE, seeking to engage voters in the increasingly active civic technology field. Carl Cullinane outlines […]
Policy-makers, we presume, want to solve social problems. Therefore, they select policy measures. In practice, these measures tend to trigger different reactions in society. How might a government avoid bad reactions, such as the tuition fees protests and ‘bedroom tax’ campaigns? Peter van Wijck and Bert Niemeijer present a framework which looks to align the perspectives of policymakers and […]
Disrupting implicit bias: Crowdsourced database highlights women experts in the social sciences #WomenAlsoKnowStuff
Women academics face inherent biases in the profession that limit career progression and influence. Emily Beaulieu and Kathleen Searles reflect on the extent of the gender gap in political science and how we might address this gap. One example is the #WomenAlsoKnowStuff website, a searchable database of women experts which has become a rallying cry, with hundreds of expert […]
The Tough Life of an Academic Entrepreneur: Innovative commercial and non-commercial ventures must be encouraged.
Academic entrepreneurs are a valuable asset for universities. However, most academic entrepreneurs are forced to live double lives. Performance assessments rarely factor in their experimental and unconventional activities. Asit Biswas and Julian Kirchherr outline incentives needed to unleash the creative potential of scholars for the overall benefit of society.
Cheli Cresswell’s last meeting with her PhD assessors was odd. Her assessors, renowned scholars […]
“A soup of different inspirations”: Co-produced research and recognising impact as a process, not an outcome.
Co-produced research involves external partners from start to finish, builds lasting relationships and is actively involved in generating impact. Yet co-production sits uncomfortably with how impact is currently understood. Rachel Pain and Ruth Raynor explore how the process of co-production has the potential to make research and its outcomes richer as collaborators pool diverse ideas, expertise and skills. Impact becomes the driving […]
Essential Guide: Eight ways research gets into Parliament
Discussions about research and policy have a tendency to be more reflective about policy-making in general, rather than focusing on the more practical aspects of how research filters through a variety of networks and into policy discussions. Sarah Foxen looks at eight specific ways research currently gets into Parliament and provides some helpful links on where to […]
Researchers agree interdisciplinary work makes an impact—but will collaboration flourish in the current environment?
According to a recent author survey, the vast majority of respondents agreed that interdisciplinary research makes an impact in their field. Tamsine O’Riordan looks at how funders, institutions and publishers can respond to meet these changing research needs. For example, dedicated publishing outlets for interdisciplinary research, whether journals or monograph series offer researchers the opportunity to receive recognition for […]
WOMID: A mentoring initiative for women working in international development aims to connect research and practice.
Balancing the early stages of a research career, while simultaneously keeping up to date with developments in the field generates some unique requirements for researchers in international development. WOMID is a new global mentoring initiative for women, facilitating mentorship between early career academics and practitioners. Alex Dorgan and Beth Harrison, who co-founded WOMID based on their own experiences of doing PhDs, explain […]
Access to information is now a frontline issue and is visible in many of today’s top news stories. Jacquelyn Gill connects the wider struggles taking place in the US for access to public television, public schools, and research. Are we at risk of giving up too quickly on the ideals of public education and publicly funded research? And what will this mean for […]
Embracing the values of publics, stakeholders and end-users enriches knowledge generation and exchange, improving the quality of research. For the principles of engaged research to become embedded in university cultures of research, however, fundamental changes are required at strategic and operational levels. Richard Holliman has been leading a programme of organisational change at the Open University to create the […]