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Engaged Social Science: impacts and use of research in the UK


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Speaker(s): Mark Easton, Penny Lawrence, Aileen Murphie, Jeff Patmore, Professor Lord Stern
Chair: Professor Patrick Dunleavy

Recorded on 29 January 2014 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

University social science plays an essential role in the ‘human-dominated’ and ‘human-influenced’ systems that are central to our modern civilization. Across the world around 40 million people now work or study in university social science, or work in jobs where they ‘translate’ or mediate advances in social science research for use in business, government and public agencies, health care systems, media and civil society organizations. Yet the impacts of university social science have been under-researched, and their effectiveness often decried. Relatively little is known about the scale, diversity, and external salience of university social science research as a discipline group. This evidence-based study attempts to describe this successful and sizeable UK industry and highlights the impacts it systematically has on the UK’s economy and society. The event will hear from an elite panel of experts from government, business, civil society and the media, and will discuss the benefits and barriers to utilizing academic research in their sectors, and the salience and value of social science expertise.

Mark Easton is home editor for BBC News.

Penny Lawrence is international programmes director at Oxfam GB.

Aileen Murphie is director of Local Government VFM at the National Audit Office.

Jeff Patmore is former head of strategic university research & collaboration at British Telecom.

Nicholas Stern is chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE.

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