Category: Impact

Sustainable Science as a Vocation

What would sustainable research and higher education mean as a vocation? Drawing on the sociologist Max Weber’s famous lecture on science as a vocation, Gorgi Krlev, outlines a vision of sustainable science, arguing that for academic research to effectively contribute to resolving the major challenges facing society it must embrace profound change on four levels. … Continued

Book Review: Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics by Charles Camic

In Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics, Charles Camic challenges the longstanding portayal of economic theorist Thorstein Veblen as a maverick outsider. Tracing the development of Veblen’s intellectual practices and affiliations, Camic instead finds an academic who was distinctly an insider, yet who turned his orthodox training against prevailing opinion. Offering an excellent account of … Continued

Charting the long-term impact of economic ideas – The rise and fall of growth narratives

The ways in which academics and researchers develop narratives to operationalize key concepts in their field can have significant impacts. Taking the example of economic research, Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov explore the formation and diffusion of economic growth narratives and discuss what this reveals about the role of ideas in shaping socio-economic change. Narratives … Continued

Four guiding principles for choosing frameworks and indicators to assess research impact

Selecting a framework for assessing research impact can be difficult, especially for interdisciplinary studies and research in fields that do not have established forms impact assessment. In this post, Elena Louder, Carina Wyborn, Christopher Cvitanovic, Angela T. Bednarek, outline four principles for researchers designing impact assessment criteria for their work and suggest how a closer … Continued

Book Review: Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

In Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems, Nobel-Prize winning economists Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo carefully lay out evidence to provide a grounded approach to tackling today’s most pressing global problems. With a focus on alleviating inequality and poverty, Banerjee and Duflo’s book clears a path for more interdisciplinary work centred on improving citizens’ … Continued

The relevance of political science and the public responsibility of political scientists

Political scientists face increasing demands to demonstrate the relevance of their research beyond the academy (the so-called ‘impact agenda’). Matthew Flinders argues that this should be seen less a threat to the discipline’s autonomy than an opportunity to rise to public responsibilities that have always accompanied a political science career. The ‘noble science of politics’ has … Continued

Book Review: Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media by Justin Gest

In Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media, Justin Gest offers a guide for researchers who want to improve their ability to make a policy impact with their research, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of different media for communicating research ideas and their implications. This book is likely to be useful for researchers across the career spectrum, from … Continued

Works of fiction? Impact statements should focus on pathways to impact over short-term outcomes

As a precondition to receiving research funds, many research funders require applicants to state how their project will ultimately achieve impacts prior to any work being undertaken. Reflecting on a study of these impact statements made to the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme, Lai Ma, argues that such statements often introduce a narrow short-term bias … Continued

The impacts agenda is an autonomous push for opening up and democratizing academia, not part of a neo-liberal hegemony

Improving academic impact has been given a bad name in some academic circles, who link it to a near-conspiracy theory view of the powers of ‘neo-liberalism’. But Patrick Dunleavy and Jane Tinkler argue that (despite one or two bureaucratic distortions, like the REF), the impacts agenda is centrally about enhancing the efficacy of scientific and … Continued