SKAPE editor

Image of a man and a woman sitting across from each other in a meeting room.

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

In the Finnish context, the term expert-by-experience is used to refer to people with prior social problems who have been invited to act as ‘experts’ in CSOs and public sector organisations. The term was introduced in the Finnish context by mental health organisations, following the introduction of a strong participatory emphasis on the Finnish social policy outlines. Now, it is a hugely popular concept and an approach that is largely developed in projects – both in the public and the third sector. Despite its popularity, the term remains ambiguous and is used to signify a variety of people and activities.

A pile of blue pills against an orange backdrop.

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

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 HIV – would soon be available on the NHS. This is a landmark decision for the use of HIV treatment as prevention in the UK, making Scotland the first – and currently, only – country to provide PrEP through the NHS.

Abstract image of blue and red squares overlapping

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 exchange and impact work?

Image of a climate protester holding a sign reading 'Planet over Profit'.

Targets for climate change policy: a special case?

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 scale, will be incompatible with the UK’s climate change targets. To be clear, this means for instance that both the UK carbon budgets, and the 2050 commitment to reducing emissions by at least 80% would be compromised.