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How to engage effectively and ‘speak truth to power’

A blogpost by Prof Paul Cairney, University of Stirling The story of ‘speaking truth to power’ comes up frequently in these science-policy debates. Many scientists describe their role in producing the best scientific evidence, seeking to maximise the role of scientific evidence in policy, and criticising policymakers vociferously if they don’t use evidence to inform …

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The expertise of experts-by-experience – Struggles over experience-based knowledge in Finnish participatory arrangements

Taina Meriluoto, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, taina.meriluoto@jyu.fi This blog post is based on a talk at the SKAPE lunchtime seminar on July 5th 2017. In early 2010’s, I was employed in a Finnish Civil Society Organisation working within the social welfare sector. I was in charge of a project whose objective was to ‘bring the …

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Why journalists should engage with their readers: a view from Slovakia

A blogpost by Simon Smith, Charles University* What happens when journalists join in the discussion in the often-frightening comments section below their articles? That’s one of the questions I sought to answer in my book, Discussing the News: the uneasy alliance of participatory journalists and the critical public, published earlier this year as part of …

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

Dr Ingrid Young, CSO-Chancellor’s Fellow, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh This article was originally published on Sociology Lens on 12 April 2017 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 prevent …

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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 …

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Targets for climate change policy: a special case?

Authors: Prof. Steve Yearley and Dr. 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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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Book Review: Publics and Their Health Systems: Rethinking Participation by Ellen Stewart

Drawing on a detailed case study of Scotland’s National Health Service, Publics and Their Health Systems: Rethinking Participation is a novel contribution to the growing academic engagement with the institutionalisation of public participation as a routine feature of governance. Author Ellen Stewart offers a ‘citizen’s-eye view’ of the Scottish health system, challenging dominant policy narratives by …

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