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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

Upcoming Events

Jan 27 Speaker: Nicolas Zehner # Sociology, Edinburgh The role of scientific expertise in the drive for ‘smart urbanism’ in the Edinburgh city region 11:30 (1 hour) Online via Zoom (link to follow)

Feb 10 Speaker: Kristina Kim # Social Policy, Edinburgh Evidence Mobilisation and Uncertainty in Smoking Cessation: A Multiple Case Study Examining the Training and Practices Around Electronic Cigarettes in Scotland 11:30 (1 hour) Online via Zoom (link to follow)

Feb 24 Speaker: Nathan Coombs # Sociology, Edinburgh Distrust in numbers: narratives, uncertainty and accountability in central banking 11:30 (1 hour) Online via Zoom (link to follow)

Latest Blog Posts RSS

What would a more evidence-informed impact agenda look like? Response from an “impact professional”

By Anne-Sofie Laegran Having been part of the emerging “impact profession” and followed the agenda closely since 2008, I found Smith et al.’s book an excellent account of the controversies, consequences and challenges that has risen from the impact agenda. I agree with their alternative and broad approach to supporting and incentivising research impact, and   ...Continue Reading

What would a more evidence-informed impact agenda look like?

By Kat Smith and Justyna Bandola-Gill Earlier this year (against the difficult backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic), Policy Press published our book, The Impact Agenda: Controversies, Consequences and Challenges, co-authored with Nasar Meer, Ellen Stewart and Richard Watermeyer. This book brings together earlier work that we had developed in discussion with SKAPE colleagues. Our   ...Continue Reading

Public participation and algorithmic policy tools

By Antonio Ballesteros The past couple of months have increased the need for accurate, and transparent, tools that allow policymakers to track and forecast the behaviour of the pandemic we are going through. For instance, different groups of researchers in the UK have used machine learning (ML) algorithms to forecast the type of treatment a   ...Continue Reading