Category: expertise

Book Review: Inevitably Toxic: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure and Expertise edited by Brinda Sarathy, Vivien Hamilton and Janet Farrell Brodie

In Inevitably Toxic: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure and Expertise, editors Brinda Sarathy, Vivien Hamilton and Janet Farrell Brodie bring together contributors in a timely call to place ‘toxicity’ back at the centre of public health discussions, exploring different toxic landscapes in North America and Japan to denaturalise the presence of inorganic contaminants in an environment. Revealing toxicity as the outcome … Continued

To shape policy with evidence, we should celebrate both good practice and good theory

As the famous saying attributed to Kurt Lewin goes, “there is nothing as practical as a good theory”. In this post James Georgalakis makes the case that bridging the gap between theory and practice is not simply a matter of more refined communication, but of creating structures in which policy influencers and academics can productively … Continued

Podcast: Has social science influenced the policy response to COVID-19?

The latest episode of LSE IQ poses the question: What’s the point of social science in a pandemic? When governments across the world were forced to take unprecedented measures in response to COVID-19 in 2020, much attention was focused on the teams of scientific and medical experts assembled to advise and develop national policy responses. … Continued

For COVID-19 vaccination programmes to be effective history shows gender equality in science is necessary

Drawing on the history of public health and anti-vaccination movements in 19th and 20th century Britain, Susan McPherson outlines how the sidelining of academics along gender lines during the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted efforts to develop and communicate scientific expertise and build public trust in the effectiveness of potential COVID-19 vaccines. In March 2020, … Continued

‘The government is following the science’: Why is the translation of evidence into policy generating so much controversy?

In the UK, the government has presented itself as guided by scientific evidence in its policy responses to COVID-19. This has led to science, in particular epidemiology, itself becoming politicised and contested. However, neither the politicisation of science nor questions surrounding the status of evidence are new. In this post, Luis Pérez-González, outlines how a … Continued

Knowing that and knowing how – Applying expertise to complex problems

Expertise is often understood in disciplinary terms, as the mastery of knowledge within a particular field of study. In this repost, Gabriele Bammer argues for the particular nature of expertise in research integration and implementation and suggests how this form of expertise is key to addressing the complex challenges currently facing society.  What is expertise … Continued

Book Review: The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

In The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts, Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind give a descriptive, predictive and normative argument for the impending dissolution of our professional institutions in their current state. Although she questions the decision to leave issues of privacy, confidentiality and online security unexamined, Jennifer Miller positions this book as an […]

The specter of big data is haunting the world, but has the data revolution already occurred?

Changes to the supply and demand of data are restructuring privileged hierarchies of knowledge, with amateur hackers and machine-readable technology becoming a central part of its analysis. Traditional experts may be hoping for a gradual evolution, but a parallel revolution led by practitioners in the private sector may already be underway. Prasanna Lal Das argues that partnerships will need to incorporate […]