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In 2012, a group of 12 social scientists at Edinburgh University began meeting to discuss their research on the relationship between knowledge and policy. We were keen to benefit from insights from across the social and political sciences and to challenge modish ideas about impact, evidence-based research or knowledge exchange. And we shared a commitment to theoretically informed, sociological and ethnographic approaches to exploring processes of knowledge production, translation and use. We were also committed to ensuring these ideas did not remain academic abstractions, but could be practically applied to help those involved in policy-making and implementation reflect on and... Read rest of text

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Targets for climate change policy: a special case?

Authors: Steve Yearley and Eugénia Rodrigues A recent report by the CCC (the Committee on Climate Change) made its low-key way to Parliament (‘The compatibility of UK onshore petroleum with meeting the UK’s carbon budgets’). In it a key message: shale gas exploitation, commonly known as ‘fracking’, if it is carried out on a significant   ...Continue Reading

Rethinking Research Impact: How could knowledge about science and policy inform the UK’s research impact incentive structures?

Academics working in the UK are being increasingly encouraged and incentivized to seek research impact beyond the academy and the consequences of these changes have caused alarm for some. In a new article in the Journal of Social Policy, we outline a range of concerns that have been raised in publications to date, across disciplines,   ...Continue Reading

Target setting, Accountability and Defence Procurement

Authors :  Hilary Cornish and Graham Spinardi The recent discussion in parliament, which passed the motion to replace Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent submarines, was a rare occasion where a defence procurement decision hit the headlines. The MoD’s current estimate for four new submarines is £31bn, with a planned contingency of £10bn, a figure that has   ...Continue Reading