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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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Dr Martyn Pickersgill wins British Academy Rising Start Engagement Award

Dr Martyn Pickersgill, Wellcome Trust Reader in Social Studies of Biomedicine and SKAPE Associate Director, has recently won a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award.

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Sex, drugs and activism: making HIV treatment as prevention available in the UK

This article was originally published on Sociology Lens on 12 April 2017 Author: Dr Ingrid Young, CSO-Chancellor’s Fellow, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh On 10 April 2017, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) announced that PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) – the use of HIV treatment in people who are HIV-negative to   ...Continue Reading

Between excellence and relevance: academic research, policy and the making of research impact

In recent years, research impact has emerged to become a part of the everyday life of UK academics. The underlying logic of the impact agenda, as reflected in policy documents, is that excellent research would lead to societal benefits (see for example RCUK). But how do these policy expectations fit with the realities of knowledge   ...Continue Reading

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