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Why Should the Taxpayer Fund Science and Research?

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Science Policy Podcasts

Evidence-based policy: from development to delivery

Professor Kent Weaver, Georgetown University

This event was held on 5 April 2011

Roberts Building G08, Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, Torrington Place, UCL, WC1E 7JE

Policymakers ignore the evidence. Academics ignore the politics. Then the public ignores them both.

Developing and implementing policies that are based on robust evidence remains a significant challenge for government and policymakers, both in terms of accessing and analysing the evidence base and weighing up other factors (such as public opinion, cost and feasibility) in decision-making. Furthermore, there is still much that is unknown about compliance with public policy – including individuals’ responses and behaviour – and ensuring that development feeds through to successful delivery and implementation.

While universities can play an important role in providing the expertise to inform evidence-based policymaking, there remains a gulf between the world of academia and the world of policymakers. This event will seek to explore how the key challenges in evidence-based policy development and delivery can be overcome. It will bring together academics and policymakers to discuss the role of universities in informing the public policy debate, the challenges for decision-makers in using evidence to inform policy, and challenges for delivery and implementation.

Professor Kent Weaver, Georgetown University, will deliver the keynote address on understanding non-compliance by the targets of public policy. Dr Miles Parker, Director of Science, DEFRA, will then speak on how evidence informs policy. The event will conclude with a discussion and Q&A session with UCL’s expert panel, including Professor Richard Blundell (UCL Economics), Professor Paul Ekins (UCL Energy Institute) and Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones (UCL Bartlett School of Planning).  The event will be chaired by Professor David Coen (UCL School of Public Policy).

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