Scientists and advocates around the world are in support of evidence-based, science-informed public policies.
The changes that society needs, such as preventing adolescent pregnancies, will not happen until researchers can use their findings to influence policy change.
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Researchers will struggle to meet universities' expectations of engagement beyond academia until this work is better recognised as part of their duties.
Few researchers will have the impact of Robert Langer, but they can learn from what researchers like him do.
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Having to do engagement and impact assessments may feel like the last straw for weary and time-poor academics. But thinking about these things can underpin research excellence.
A portrait of Albert Einstein on a transformer station in St.Petersburg, Russia.
The h-index has become an indicator of quality for many researchers and may influence the allocation of research funds. But some question its value.
With a threatening virus sweeping the world, research efforts across sectors have ground to a halt. But one thing is clear: the non-scientific community has never valued research more.
Cheryl Praeger was awarded the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. She has spent more than four decades inspiring a love for maths in others, and has created a vast body of academic work in the process.
The prizes are among the country's most prestigious accolades for science-related achievements. This year marks their 20th anniversary.
Park guards view maps and photos of high-altitude glaciers – information that can be shared with local communities dealing with changing water levels.
Science can't just stay in the ivory tower. But what does impact really mean and how does it happen? A study of more than a decade of ecological fieldwork projects in Bolivia suggests a better way.
Engineering can greatly bolster any country’s development and growth.
Africa has recorded a tremendous growth in its output of academic engineering research over the past 20 years. Greater collaboration can increase this growth even more.
For research to have an impact, it needs to be used or applied in some way.
Engagement and impact will be part of research performance assessment starting in 2018, signalling a shift in what kind of research we value and why.
Working within and across disciplines allows blue sky research to deliver real world impact.
Ensuring knowledge creates impact involves disciplinary excellence, communication, co-location and funding.
Is"useful" knowledge the only knowledge worth knowing?
Are we in danger of losing academic freedom?
Getting input from well-connected academics and researchers is crucial to a paper’s scientific impact.
The scientific impact of a research paper increases with every additional commenter who provides feedback – particularly if the comment came from a well-connected academic.
What’s the best way to measure research impact?
This move to measure the impact of university research on society introduces many new challenges that were not previously relevant when evaluation focused solely on academic merit.
Research shows that Wikipedia is one of the most read sources of medical information by the general public across the world.
Medical entries on Wikipedia are widely consulted across the world. Doctors and medical researchers need to make efforts to ensure the content on the online collaborative encyclopedia is accurate.
In-depth surveys allow governments to drill their understanding down to street level.
Image courtesy GCRO/Clive Hassall
Without data, people don't know what to believe or whom to trust. Empirical, thorough data collected by academics can help to fill important governance gaps.
More medical experts should contribute to Wikipedia to ensure its health pages are accurate.
The academic medical community largely views Wikipedia with suspicion. But some traditional journals are starting to take the site more seriously – and some journals work very closely with it.
Piles of evidence don’t make any difference if they’re not being used to develop policy.
Researchers and policymakers need to talk to each other. If they don't, important research will merely gather dust and policies might do more harm than good.
What is the purpose of measuring engagement, impact or quality?
Engagement is not impact, and simple measures such as non-government research income tell us very little about genuine external engagement between universities and industry.
Education should be a laughing matter.
Irony can provide new theoretical insights. Social scientists should embrace it.
No go zone for academics?
New rules could have a chilling effect on academic freedom of speech.