Posts Tagged: evidence-based policymaking

Science policy
The new face of the science–policy interface
November 21, 2017
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The new Chief Science Advisor position is the top job at the science–policy interface in Canada. While attending the 9th Canadian Science Policy Conference in Ottawa earlier this month, the other conference-goers and I were lucky to get a glimpse of how Dr. Mona Nemer—newly named to the job—understands evidence-based decision-making. In this week’s post, I’ll give a summary of her remarks at the CSPC and distill the main views on evidence-based decision-making that they seem to reflect.
Science policy
Is non-science non-sense?
November 15, 2017
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At the beginning of November, I attended the Canadian Science Policy Conference, where one of the headline guest speakers was the new Governor General: former astronaut and currently Right Honourable Julie Payette. The Canadian science and science policy communities had an expectedly positive response to the appointment of such a scientifically minded person to this emblematic role. Her Excellency’s speech really played to the home-town crowd, too, emphasizing that science is increasingly embraced in policymaking here in Canada, and calling for science to now be increasingly embraced in society at large as well, even to the point that science would become a matter of cocktail conversation. There was a lot of controversy, though, about how Payette described the beliefs of those who have not yet been converted to our brand of discipleship, those beliefs that do not pass scientific muster. In today’s post, I’ll point out what I see as an underlying tension in her position and what a resolution might require.
Bibliometrics Science policy
Metrics: state of the alt
November 8, 2017
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Discussions of research having impact were for a long time limited to citation tracking, to estimate how much one piece of work influences subsequent explorations. However, with calls for research to have impact on the broader society—breaking out of the closed circle of research feeding yet more research—there’s a lot of interest in seeing how we might trace that impact pathway as it breaks through the membrane insulating the world of research. Altmetrics has held the promise of tracking just such traces. At STI 2017, several leading researchers on the topic gave valuable updates on the state of the art, and their estimation is that we should be seriously cooling it with all the hype. This post sums up the points that stuck out to me from their various presentations, and tries to outline my takeaway of what we should be learning from altmetrics.
Data mining Science policy
Data mining: The value of a scoping phase
August 16, 2017
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In previous posts in our data mining series, we laid out our initial technical framework for guiding data mining projects, then supplemented that with plug-ins to facilitate its use for R&I policy research specifically. These plug-ins helped to overcome the challenge of applying a generic framework to a specific thematic area. However, there was another […]
Data mining Science policy
Data mining: Technical framework plug-ins for the R&I context
August 9, 2017
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In my previous post, I outlined the initial technical framework developed by Science-Metrix in the course of the data mining project for the European Commission documented in this blog series. This initial data mining framework—strongly inspired by existing frameworks—provided a solid foundation on which to build. However, to support data mining in a policy context […]
Data mining Science policy
Data mining: The root of a technical framework
August 2, 2017
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Continuing on in our series of posts on data mining for policymaking, this post presents the initial technical framework developed by Science-Metrix to guide the conduct of data mining projects in a government context (with some shout-outs to other contexts as well). This seven-step framework formed the basis of our case studies, and effectively lays […]
Data mining Science policy
Data mining for policymaking
July 26, 2017
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Throughout 2015 and 2016, we at Science-Metrix worked on a project for the European Commission that focused on data mining and big data analytics in the context of policymaking, specifically research & innovation policy. While carrying out this work, we learned some fascinating and valuable things, and so rather than leave all that knowledge locked […]
Higher education Science policy
Policy: whose problem is it anyway?
March 14, 2017
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In January, Sir Peter Gluckman—Chief Science Advisor to the PM of New Zealand, and global point man for science advice to government—gave the inaugural address at the Canadian Science Policy Centre lecture series. The discussion covered a lot of important points of difficulty for science and governance—and science in governance—that are emerging in the 21st […]
Higher education Science policy
Committee Outsiders: a quick win
March 7, 2017
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In a previous post on the need to “operationalize” policy questions into a format suitable for empirical research, I ended with a call to action for the community of academic historians and philosophers of science to come down from our ivory towers, roll up our sleeves, and apply our skills to mediate negotiations taking place […]
Science policy
Capturing imaginations, not wallets and podiums
February 28, 2017
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The notion of capture—when one group in a partnership is allowed “home-field advantage”—is helpful in understanding some hurdles to successful collaboration across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries. Last week, I outlined how sectoral capture undermines the very notion of transdisciplinary research. In this week’s installment of the capture series, I’ll talk about how sectoral capture is […]