Category: expertise

Politics and expertise: How to use science in a democratic society

The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of scientific advice to modern policymaking. But how can the use of expertise in politics be aligned with the needs and values of the public? Drawing on a recent book, Zeynep Pamuk sets out a new mode…

We live in the age of performative academia, is this such a bad thing?

It is relatively rare for social scientists as individuals to break through into the mainstream media. However, in recent weeks, two profiles of successful figures in the worlds of academia and academic publishing have featured in popular publications,…

We live in an age of projects – Research impact should reflect this

In the second of two blogposts exploring how research impact is increasingly dependent on expertise embedded within organisations rather than traditional research outputs, Rebecca Vine and Paul Nightingale discuss the role of projects as a focus for co…

Book Review: Politics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society by Zeynep Pamuk

In Politics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society, Zeynep Pamuk reimagines the relationship between democratic politics and scientific expertise, exploring the possibility of new political institutions that would make experts more a…

By focusing on outputs, rather than people, we misunderstand the real impact of research.

Arguing that science policy remains shaped by enduring ideas of linear knowledge transfer from research to society, Paul Nightingale and Rebecca Vine, propose that research impact in contemporary service economies lies predominantly within the applicat…

Net Zero, Natural Solutions and COP26: How expert knowledge can risk closing down rather than opening up the politics of climate change.

As the COP26 summit gathers pace, Tim Forsyth reflects on the role played by expert knowledge in shaping the potential outcomes of the summit. As a consensus begins to emerge around Net Zero targets and Natural Solutions to climate change, he suggests …

Are experts complicit in making their advice easy for politicians to ignore?

The role of experts in policymaking and debates over the extent to which politicians are being ‘led by the science’ have become prominent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Christiane Gerblinger argues that, rather than being a simple case of …

The public places more trust in scientists and politicians, when they appear individually, rather than together, to communicate COVID-19 public health measures

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, politicians have been accompanied by scientists when communicating the need for anti-contagion measures. In this post, Mike Farjam discusses the results of a joint Italian/Swedish experiment into public attitudes towar…