Category: Government

Between science and policy—Scrutinising the role of SAGE in providing scientific advice to government

Reflecting on his role as chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, Greg Clark MP, discusses the effectiveness of the UK’s scientific advisory body SAGE during the COVID-19 pandemic and considers the importance of transparency in assessing the extent to which scientific research can effectively guide government policy.   Since March, the Committee that … Continued

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

2019 In Review: Research on Research

2019 has seen an increased focus on the ways in which different national and international research systems function and how they can be improved. This post brings together some of the top posts on the theme of research on research that have featured on the LSE Impact Blog during 2019. Pushing research to the limit – Who innovates in social […]

Legislative science advice is a powerful tool, yet the majority of parliamentarians around the world don’t have access to it

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has played an important role in UK politics, by providing horizon scanning research summaries to parliamentarians on emerging issues. Here, Sarah Foxen and Chris Tyler discuss the challenges and opportunities faced in setting up services that put leading edge research in front of busy politicians and reflect on their work to help set up […]

Party political conferences – A key site for research impact

Party political conferences provide a unique opportunity for academics to engage with politicians and the policymaking process, as well as a variety of different stakeholders in any given policy issue. In this post, Dr Grace Lordan, Professor Tony Travers, Dr Anna Valero and Megan Marsh describe how academics and the public affairs team at LSE have used party political conferences […]

The Accident of Accessibility: How the data of the Teaching Excellence Framework creates neoliberal subjects

The stated aim of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is to encourage excellence in teaching in higher education and to provide information for students to make improved decisions about the courses they take at university. In this post, Liz Morrish argues that contrary to these goals, the TEF is only marginally interested in teaching quality and instead contributes to the […]

Book Review: Think Tanks: The New Knowledge and Policy Brokers in Asia by James G. McGann

In Think Tanks: The New Knowledge and Policy Brokers in Asia, James G. McGann examines the role of think tanks in Asia, exploring their current limitations as well as how they can expand and improve the quality of their analysis to provide the region’s political actors with the policy advice they require. While the book contains the seeds of a compelling and informative […]

Evidence matters, but ideas shape policy in more fundamental ways than we might realise

Evidence-based policy-making can be problematic in practice, especially if the evidence is uncertain. Based on a case study concerning the formation of a national-level policy position in Ireland in response to an EU initiative, Niamh Hardiman and Saliha Metinsoy suggest that policy makers’ decisions may well be guided by beliefs that go beyond the direct evidence available. Ideas can be so deep-rooted that they […]