Project funded under FP7
Contract number: 217190
Instrument: CSA (Support)
British Academy report on the role of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Public Policy Making
Humanities and Social Science disciplines are not “punching their weight” in contributing to public policy making as they could and should be. That is the conclusion of a British Academy report launched on September 17, 2008 compiled by an expert working party chaired by Professor Sir Alan Wilson.
The report, entitled "Punching Our Weight: the Humanities and Social Sciences in Public Policy Making", took extensive soundings from both policy makers and academics, and found both sides in agreement that a greater contribution was needed, especially as the challenges confronting policy makers are growing in complexity.
The report therefore makes 20 practical recommendations designed to improve dialogue, innovation and knowledge transfer between leading academics and policy makers in Westminster, Whitehall, the devolved administrations and town halls and other public bodies.
They include reducing the high proportion of Government research budgets allocated, contrary to the Government’s own guidelines, to short- term projects; strengthening Government departments’ peer review mechanisms to ensure they commission the highest quality research; and improving training for PHD students to meet the future needs of policy makers and other user communities.
The report also recommends that Universities take more account of public policy engagement in their criteria for academic promotion; and that Government departments set and publish targets to increase two-way secondments with Universities and research organisations.
You can find the full report for download on the website of the British Academy:
You can also find the list of the 20 recommendations online: http://www.britac.ac.uk/reports/wilson/execsum.cfm