Author: Cousens,EV

How should we celebrate the research excellence obscured by the REF? The case of the Research Software Engineer

The Research Excellence Framework’s purpose is to assess world-class research. However, it overlooks the work of many groups who make possible high-quality research submissions. James Baker illustrates this through the case of the Research Software Engineer, without whom much high-quality research would not be possible, but whose contributions do not get counted by the REF. … Continued

From isolation to inspiration: The psychology of writing in communities

  Writing in communities, in the form of writing groups and writing retreats, has become immensely popular in the last decade. Despite COVID-19 putting a halt on face-to-face meetings, the new online writing group boom has helped academics to stay productive. Nicole Janz explores how writing in groups can provide an antidote to the competitive … Continued

From Impact to Inequality: How Post-COVID-19 government policy is privatising research innovation

Post-COVID-19 government policy has included an increase in investment in the UK’s research sector. However, Daniel Hook finds that the emphasis on the impact of this research means that longer-term, less measurable, blue skies research is being pushed into the private sector. Not only is blue skies research the key driver of technological change, but … Continued

From Impact to Inequality: How Post-COVID-19 government policy is privatising research innovation

Post-COVID-19 government policy has included an increase in investment in the UK’s research sector. However, Daniel Hook finds that the emphasis on the impact of this research means that longer-term, less measurable, blue skies research is being pushed into the private sector. Not only is blue skies research the key driver of technological change, but … Continued

Assessing research impact – a tale of 7 impact studies

How to assess research impact? Sarah Morton draws on her own experience of assessing impact arguing that despite diverse topics, settings and countries, there are patterns of successful impact that can help move our learning forward. She outlines her five top lessons for designing and evaluating impact in a research project.    I am not … Continued

“F**k the algorithm”?: What the world can learn from the UK’s A-level grading fiasco

The A-level grading fiasco in the UK led to public outrage over algorithmic bias. This is a well-established problem that data professionals have sought to address through making their algorithms more explainable. However, Dr Daan Kolkman argues that the emergence of a “critical audience” in the A-level grading fiasco poses a model for a more effective means of … Continued

What is the role of the social sciences in the response to COVID-19? 4 priorities for shaping the post-pandemic world

Science has been central to informing policy in the response to COVID-19. But ensuring the successful implementation of these policies and the direction of a long-term recovery is the role of the social sciences. Dr Rachel Middlemass outlines the specific contributions that social sciences have to play in informing how we rebuild post-pandemic and the … Continued

Science by press conference: What the Heinsberg Study on COVID-19 demonstrates about the dangers of fast, open science.

COVID-19 has accelerated calls for fast, open science to inform policy responses. However, when contradictory or false results become public, the negative consequences of this becomes hard to contain. Nate Breznau discusses the Heinsberg Study into COVID-19, outlining how the lack of appropriate scientific scrutiny led to policy responses that were misinformed and dangerous. Breznau … Continued

As COVID-19 hits Australian universities hard, how have online writing groups enabled researchers to stay connected and sustain their work?

The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the instability of funding streams in Australian universities, resulting in an already precarious system for researchers being exacerbated. However, in the face of an ongoing retraction of income which is threatening research and the livelihood of researchers, Dr Lisa Hodge and Dr Jason Murphy discuss the flourishing forms of academic … Continued

How can anthropological research impact the populations it studies? Six steps for creating inclusivity and accessibility with ethnographic monographs

The ethnographic monograph is the primary medium for communicating anthropological research. However, they have traditionally only been read mainly by anthropologists in metropolitan universities. Professor Daniel Miller highlights the problem for anthropologists who want their research to have an impact that contributes directly to education benefitting the populations being studied. Drawing on the experience of … Continued