Making science public: Taking stock

When we wrote our ‘Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities’ research project some six or so years ago, various scandals had rocked the unspoken contract between science and society, universities and their users (BSE, MMR, climategate etc.). This contributed to a widely held perception, and I stress perception, of a lack of public trust in …

Sock puppets, muzzles and the impact agenda

This is a post by JOHN HOLMWOOD A new threat to the contribution of university research to public debate has been identified. This derives from Cabinet Office rules that would prevent bodies in receipt of grants from Government from lobbying. It has been suggested that this could muzzle academic research. Ironically, the rules derive from …

Science, politics and epigenetics

This post by Shea Robison is reposted here with the permission of author. Shea originally posted it on his blog ‘The nexus of epigenetics‘ under the title “Epigenetics Minority Report Part I: Epigenetics, blame, precrime and politics“ *** If you picked up the movie reference in the title to this post, you are likely (hopefully) asking …

Making sense in science and in public

Over the last few weeks some of my colleagues within the Institute for Science and Society and the Making Science Public programme (and beyond) have probably got pretty annoyed with me, as I have become a bit argumentative in a debate about science and politics and the line between sense and nonsense. In the following …

Re-imagining the public / re-imagining the political

  Last month (15-16 May) I attended a conference organised by Michel Ledda, Robert Cowley, and David Chandler from the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at the University of Westminster entitled: ‘New perspectives on the problem of the public’. Together with Sujatha Raman I work on the Leverhulme funded project ‘Models of Managing …

Event: FREE screening of Kansas vs Darwin + Q+A with director Jeff Tamblyn

In May we are very honoured to welcome US film director Jeff Tamblyn for screenings of his award-winning documentary, Kansas vs Darwin, followed by Q&A sessions with Jeff. The film tells an extraordinary story: This darkly comic documentary explores the epic 2005 Kansas state school board hearings, in which a group of creationist politicians attempted to …

The privatisation of science is not in the public interest

This Blog post is a summary and more extended reflection on some thoughts presented as part of the ‘Making Science Public’ launch event. In the afternoon we kick-started a debate about issues related to the privatisation of science with two short talks by Alex Smith (tasked with speaking in favour of the motion as set …

On Kansas, candidates and Creationism: the struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party in America’s Heartland

With a US general election due in November, media attention will be largely focused on whether Barack Obama will succeed in his bid to defeat the Republican Mitt Romney and win a second term in the White House. However, the Presidential vote is only one piece in a complicated electoral jigsaw puzzle, which will also …