Category: policymaking

Evidence-based policy and other myths. What researchers need to know to influence government.

Research has an important role to play in the creation of good policy. However, academics often struggle to communicate their research in a language that politicians understand. Naomi Eisenstadt CB draws on over thirty years of experience at senior levels of government and policy, to outline what researchers need to know to influence government and three … Continued

Businesses know the value of social sciences. Higher Education policy needs to catch up

The social sciences are recognised for their role in evaluating policy and offering practice-based interventions about ‘what works’. However, they are less often justified in terms of their value to the private sector. Sharon Witherspoon outlines the finding of a report into eight case studies of UK businesses.  The report covers a range of different … Continued

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

“F**k the algorithm”?: What the world can learn from the UK’s A-level grading fiasco

The A-level grading fiasco in the UK led to public outrage over algorithmic bias. This is a well-established problem that data professionals have sought to address through making their algorithms more explainable. However, Dr Daan Kolkman argues that the emergence of a “critical audience” in the A-level grading fiasco poses a model for a more effective means of … 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

Is public accountability possible in algorithmic policymaking? The case for a public watchdog

Despite algorithms becoming an increasingly important tool for policymakers, little is known about how they are used in practice and how they work, even amongst the experts tasked with using them. Drawing on research into the use of algorithmic models in the UK and Dutch governments, Daan Kolkman argues that the inherent complexity of algorithms … Continued

Strength in diversity – Changing the shape of expert engagement with the UK parliament

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in demand for expert knowledge, but, as previous studies have shown, the expertise provided to the UK parliament in the past has often been drawn from a narrow pool of researchers. In this post, Naomi Saint and Sarah Foxen reflect on recent evidence showing greater diversity in … Continued

Evidence for Policy in the Wake of COVID-19: Short – Medium – Long Term Impacts

COVID-19 has rapidly and radically reshaped interactions between academics and policymakers and the kinds of evidence being used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, Vivian Tseng, considers how research-policy relationships might develop in the short, medium to long term and how research funders might seize opportunities presented by COVID-19 to design equity-centred … Continued

10 Ways scientists can better engage with decision makers

The figure of the decision maker is often invoked as a key conduit for academic research to be transformed into social impact. Drawing on work undertaken for their recently published book chapter (with Dr Megan Evans), David Rose and Rebecca Jarvis distill findings from a review of how academics have engaged with decision makers in the … Continued