Author: Taster

STEMM in Parliament: what oral history tells us about MPs and science

Emmeline Ledgerwood draws on evidence from archived oral history interviews to consider the extent to which an MP’s background in science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine has contributed to his or her activity as a parliamentarian. This post originally appeared on the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog. The varying national responses to the coronavirus … Continued

It’s Time to Get Serious About Research Fraud

Only a small fraction of research misconduct ever comes to light. Independent investigative bodies could remedy that argues Dalmeet Singh Chawla. This article was originally published on Undark. Read the original article. In 2016, Sophie Jamal’s career took a turn for the worse. The bone researcher and physician was banned from federal funding for life in … Continued

The Case of Bookcases

In this post David Beer reflects on what the attention given to bookcases during the COVID-19 pandemic reveals about our enduring attachments to particular surfaces, spaces and presences and their role in the materiality of research, writing and teaching. This post, originally published in the author’s ‘Fragments of Modernity’ newsletter, and appeared on the LSE Review of Book’s … Continued

Is public accountability possible in algorithmic policymaking? The case for a public watchdog

Despite algorithms becoming an increasingly important tool for policymakers, little is known about how they are used in practice and how they work, even amongst the experts tasked with using them. Drawing on research into the use of algorithmic models in the UK and Dutch governments, Daan Kolkman argues that the inherent complexity of algorithms … Continued

When evidence does not matter – What Brazil teaches us about the fragility of evidence based policymaking

An underlying assumption of modern political states is that they are rational systems that ‘follow the science’ to achieve optimal outcomes for their citizens. Whilst COVID-19 continues to foreground the strengths and weaknesses of different national scientific advice systems, Flavia Donadelli draws on evidence from Brazilian policymaking to argue that evidence informed policymaking is a … Continued

Book Review: Learning and Using Languages in Ethnographic Research edited by Robert Gibb, Annabel Tremlett and Julien Danero Iglesias

In Learning and Using Languages in Ethnographic Research, editors Robert Gibb, Annabel Tremlett and Julien Danero Iglesias bring together contributors to explore issues that researchers may encounter when learning and using another language in ethnographic fieldwork. Providing readers with a set of accessible accounts of language learning and use, the collection aims to demystify language … Continued

Strength in diversity – Changing the shape of expert engagement with the UK parliament

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in demand for expert knowledge, but, as previous studies have shown, the expertise provided to the UK parliament in the past has often been drawn from a narrow pool of researchers. In this post, Naomi Saint and Sarah Foxen reflect on recent evidence showing greater diversity in … Continued

Making the invisible visible: how we depict COVID-19

How do you depict a microscopic bundle of proteins that in just a few months transformed the world? Sria Chatterjee (Max-Planck Kunsthistorisches Institut) looks at how the virus has been visualised in different contexts, and how new ways of tracking and seeing its spread have profound implications for individual freedom. This post first appeared on the LSE COVID-19 … Continued

Social science spinouts a neglected pathway to impact?

The abstract nature of knowledge derived from the social sciences has often led to it being written off as common sense, or as being ill-suited to practical application. In this post, Chris Fellingham, argues that creating businesses and social ventures based on social science insights presents bold, new opportunities for social science research to deliver … Continued