Category: Featured

What role should non-academics have in evaluating the potential impact of new research projects?

Non-academics with extensive experience of particular sectors and industries can provide unique insights into the potential pathways to impact for new research projects. Drawing on a quasi-natural experiment comparing assessment panels with and without…

Sociable (social) science – Crafting new relationships between research and government

The civil service represents a significant community of analysts and researchers, but their work can at times seem independent from that taking place within academia. Ben Hepworth describes how the UK’s Ministry of Justice has worked to reframe its rel…

How models change the world – and what we should do about it

Models that make predictions about the COVID-19 pandemic are complicated by the fact that people change their behaviour in response to these predictions. Lucie White discusses how we can deal with this, based on a recent paper with Philippe van Basshuy…

Reading Academic Quit Lit – How and why precarious scholars leave academia

Academic ‘quit lit’ is an emerging genre of academic writing focused on authors’ reasons for leaving academia. Drawing on an analysis of this literature and interviews with precarious academics in Australia, Lara McKenzie discusses what this genre says…

MPs with both an educational and occupational background in STEM are the most likely to demonstrate engagement with STEM issues in Parliament

Joshua Myers and Hilde Coffé investigate the effect of having a STEM background on both the likelihood of MPs proposing a STEM Private Members’ Bill and the proportion of proposals an MP dedicates to such bills. They find that having a STEM background …

The vaccine passport debate reveals fundamental views about how personal data should be used, its role in reproducing inequalities, and the kind of society we want to live in

Helen Kennedy draws on evidence from the Living With Data survey to link public attitudes to data collection and use to views on Covid-19 vaccine passports. Finding widespread concern about the involvement of commercial technology companies in such ini…

Can Twitter data help in spotting problems early with publications? What retracted COVID-19 papers can teach us about science in the public sphere

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought science into mainstream public and political debates in novel ways, notably through the widespread use of social media to share and discuss new findings. In this post, Robin Haunschild and Lutz Bornmann discuss their r…

The hitchhiker’s guide to co-production: Six ways to link knowledge and action for sustainability

By directly linking research processes to change makers, co-production promises to create more impactful knowledge and actions. However, what co-production means in practice is not always clear or consistent. Drawing on the experiences of 32 co-product…

We won’t get to a more equitable knowledge ecosystem if we don’t have more equitable ways to assess research and knowledge

The ways in which research quality and research impact are defined and measured are deeply embedded in practices and concepts derived from the Global North. Drawing on examples from the Global South, Jon Harle argues that a fundamental shift is require…