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Lecturer in Policy Research and Practice, UCL

As an ex-UK civil servant and mixed-discipline applied social scientist, I am principally involved in understanding how best to undertake technical research and expert advising (engineering and physical sciences) in order to make it 'speak' more effectively to public policy for the social good. My approach is to understand the end to end process: underlying ways of thinking and assumptions, theoretic approaches and models of the world, research methods and designs, data analysis, interpretation and deployment into policy (including assumptions experts hold about what 'policy' is or should be). There is a fundamental conflict between processes of research and modes of understanding and valuing elements of reality between physical sciences and public policy. I think that social sciences hold the key to driving more social elements into technical research and analysis and to that end I am developing a systematic approach to understanding what 'socio-technical' research is or could be.

Experience

  • 2018–present
    Director of Education, UCL STEaPP
  • 2013–present
    Lecturer in Policy Research and Practice, UCL STEaPP
  • 2006–2013
    Head of Research, UK Govt: Dept for Culture, Media and Sport
  • 2011–2013
    Head of Social Science Engagement, UK Govt: Dept of Energy and Climate Change
  • 2003–2006
    Senior Reseacher, UK Govt: Dept for Education and Skills
  • 1999–2003
    Postdoctoral research associate, University of Birmingham

Education

  • 1999 
    University of Birmingham (Psychology), PhD
  • 1995 
    University of Edinburgh (Cognitive Science), MSc (Dist)
  • 1993 
    University of Stirling (Psychology), BSc (Hons)

Publications

  • 2020
    Engineering advice in policy-making: a new domain of inquiry in evidence and policy, Evidence & Policy: A journal of research, debate and practice
  • 2020
    Mapping Academic Literature on Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa: Geographical Biases and Topical Gaps, Sustainability
  • 2018
    Evaluating energy efficiency policy: understanding the ‘energy policy epistemology’ may explain the lack of demand for randomised controlled trials, Energy Efficiency
  • 2017
    Building physics into the social: Enhancing the policy impact of energy studies and energy social science research, Energy Research & Social Science
  • 2017
    Building a socio-technical energy research community: Theory, practice and impact, Energy Research & Social Science
  • 2016
    Exploring the scope of science advice: social sciences in the UK government, Palgrave Communications
  • 2015
    Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health, The Lancet
  • 2015
    From social and technical to socio-technical: Designing integrated research on domestic energy use, Indoor and Built Environment