Engagement with the general public, as well as with specific political, policy-making and corporate audiences, is a key part of the IPA’s activities and one which, as part of LSE, it is uniquely placed to offer. We involve outside organisations in both our teaching and research programmes in order to benefit from insights and understanding that The IPA offers a particular kind of public engagement, one which engages the public in its programmes and research.
The idea of ‘knowledge exchange’ is the common thread that runs through all of the IPA, recognising that it is not only the experts who have the answers to important questions. We are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging people, such as the Constitution UK project, Gearty Grillings and Guerrilla Lectures.
Key to this are two LSE-wide public festivals: the LSE Research Festival and the Space for Thought Literary Festival. In additional, we hold a number of public events through the year, sometimes as part of programmes of work and sometimes as stand alone events.
Our public-facing programmes are complemented by another range of activities which use LSE expertise to inform topical policy debates. The IPA facilitates engagement between LSE academics and the UK civil service to provide insights that high-quality social science can offer to the policy-making process.
The IPA organises and co-ordinates policy briefings in Parliament, and at the annual conferences of UK political parties, to make academic research in LSE’s interdisciplinary research available to law-makers. We also hold induction sessions for new MPs after a general election to help develop their expertise in the key public debates of each Parliament.