Category: policymaking

How can researchers influence policy when their work lies outside the political mainstream?

The premise of postgrowth research is that environmentally sustainable wellbeing should replace GDP growth as the cornerstone of public policy. This interest in a transition beyond the existing parameters of ‘political reality’ means such research face…

Quick, but not dirty – Can rapid evidence reviews reliably inform policy?

The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented and time critical demand for policy relevant evidence syntheses and in so doing demonstrated how timely evidence reviews can shape policymaking. As the policy crisis of COVID-19 recedes, research is underw…

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…

Book Review: Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein

In Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein explore how ‘noise’ affects human judgment and reflect on what we can do to address this. This novel book will help readers to better understand the processes we u…

2021 In Review: Evidence for Policy

The need to link research based evidence to policy has arguably been more urgent and important in the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic than it has ever been before. In the first of a series of review posts, we have brought together a selection o…

Book Review: Behavioral Insights by Michael Hallsworth and Elspeth Kirkman

In Behavioral Insights, Michael Hallsworth and Elspeth Kirkman offer a pragmatic and engaging new overview of behavioural informed design, exploring its history, application, limitations and its future possibilities. Gee Connolly recommends the book to…

Connecting research to policy is complex, unpredictable and time consuming – so should we expect academics to do it on their own?

Earlier in the year the chief executive of UKRI, Dame Ottoline Leyser, argued that a research culture that prizes the figure of the ‘lone genius’ has stifled productive collaboration. Drawing on the experience of UCL’s Faculty of Engineering Sciences P…

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…

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 …