February 26, 2015

Commons Science and Technology Committee reports on ‘Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement’

By Roland Jackson, Executive Chair – Sciencewise

RJThe Commons Science and Technology Committee has published today its report on ‘Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution’. (more…)

January 5, 2015

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Nanasha @ 1:53 pm

By Alexandra Humphris-Bach, Sciencewise Knowledge Sharing Manager

WebThe seventh in our Sciencewise Q&A blog series responds to “Where do you find the members of the public that get involved in the dialogue – how do you choose and/or invite them? How many do you involve?”

Most dialogue projects use dedicated recruitment experts to recruit public participants. As part of the planning process, careful consideration will be given to the recruitment selection criteria – such as representation of local and national demographics, and the number of people we need to engage with in order to provide meaningful input to policy makers. These criteria will differ from project to project as they need to be tailored to the specific policy issue in question. (more…)

December 12, 2014

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Nanasha @ 12:40 pm

By Alexandra Humphris-Bach, Sciencewise Knowledge Sharing Manager

The six in our Sciencewise Q&A blog series responds to “Is Sciencewise just involved in science and technology policy? What are the eligibility criteria?”

WebAt Sciencewise, our aim is to improve policy making involving science and technology across Government by increasing the effectiveness with which public dialogue is used. We work with and co-fund Government departments and agencies to enable them to develop and commission public dialogue activities on policy. Although we provide a wide range of free support tools, funding is only available for projects which fall within our eligibility criteria. (more…)

December 8, 2014

Public dialogue on flood risk communications – Birmingham

By Jacqui Cotton, Policy, Strategy and Investment R&D Theme Manager, Environment Agency

Flood image - smallerThe final flood risk communications dialogue took place in Birmingham on Saturday 22 November. We had representatives from Public Health England (PHE), the Red Cross, National Flood Forum, BIS-Sciencewise and the Environment Agency (EA) in the room, but more importantly, 26 members of the public travelled all the way from Leicester, York, Oxford, Skegness and Newtown to talk to us again about flooding. There was a tremendous amount of energy in the room with some insightful and thought provoking discussions from our excellent participants. (more…)

December 1, 2014

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Nanasha @ 12:33 pm

By Diane Warburton, Sciencewise Evaluation Manager

WebIt’s a valid question that you may have often pondered and that we were asked during our session at Civil Service Live ‘14 – “How much does public dialogue cost, and does it provide value for money?”

For many of us working in policy involving science and technology, the cost of public dialogue is very small indeed compared to the value it achieves. (more…)

November 17, 2014

Just because we can do it, does that mean we should? The ethical use of data dilemma

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Nanasha @ 12:17 pm

By Josephine Suherman-Bailey, Policy Analyst, Sciencewise

Open Data 2There are a plethora of laws in statute to protect our right to privacy and the misuse of our data, from the Data Protection Act to the Human Rights Act. But as the technology for collecting, using and analysing data moves forward at lightning speed, people are starting to ask whether there is a difference between the law (can we do it?) and ethics (should we do it?).

Both government and business are highly concerned with these questions. The government is looking to expand their use of data science, and are aware they’re in new territory, throwing up ethical questions which need carefully considered answers. Data science provides amazing opportunities for government to link services, make them more efficient and save money. (more…)

October 27, 2014

September 22, 2014

Airport capacity in the south east: potential for open & robust policy-making through stakeholder and public dialogues?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Nanasha @ 12:47 pm

By Steve Robinson, Sciencewise Dialogue & Engagement Specialist

Copy of airplanes_003A third Heathrow runway was proposed as far back as the early 90s and has faced consistent, implacable opposition from many people, especially local communities, other stakeholders and politicians.

The ‘third runway proposal’ was always of interest to me as a dialogue process practitioner for it’s a prime example both of the importance of framing issues and of the pitfalls of open vs. closed questions. ‘Do you want a third runway at Heathrow?’ is a classic closed question to which the resounding answer from many people was and is ‘No’. Leaflets distributed recently by Back Heathrow continue in this vein, asking within a series of arguably loaded questions ‘Do you support another runway being built at Heathrow…?’ – a closed question to which many will answer ‘No’. (more…)

September 15, 2014

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Nanasha @ 5:43 pm

By Alexandra Humphris-Bach, Sciencewise Knowledge Sharing Manager

WebThe third in our Sciencewise Q&A blog series responds to ‘Is the public’s perception of some aspects of science down to a lack of scientific understanding/learning?’

Experience has shown that given the right information, support and time, the public can participate in discussions on complex and/or contentious subjects. Many policy makers and experts have been impressed with the speed at which public participants pick up complex issues, the interest they show and most importantly, the value and insights that they add to the debate. See also FAQ 5: Can the public contribute meaningfully? (more…)

September 8, 2014