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Detailed analysis of Sciencewise role in the UK open policy making approach

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From early 2013, Sciencewise has collaborated with Helen Pallett, to provide access and support to her PhD research which focused on Sciencewise and, particularly, the role of organisational learning in the programme.

A new output from Helen's research has now been published in the Science Communication journal. 'Public Participation Organisations and Open Policy: A Constitutional Moment for British Democracy?', by Helen Pallett, was published in Vol 36(6), 2015.

The focus of the article is Sciencewise interactions with broader political developments, particularly the emergence of open policy as a key policy object in the UK. "The article considers what the new imaginary of openness means for institutionalized forms of public participation in science policymaking, asking whether this is illustrative of a 'constitutional moment' in relations between society and science policymaking."

The article describes Sciencewise history and suggests that "Sciencewise has also been increasingly drawn on internationally as an example of innovation and best practice around public participation, for example, by the Japanese Government, and has also experienced increasing influence within the U.K. government."

From 2012, the paper suggests that "the Sciencewise program enjoyed greater recognition and policy influence both in the United Kingdom and abroad due to the involvement of better networked individuals in the program itself and also because of the opportunities afforded by the “open policy” agenda. This influence manifested itself in the improved ability of program actors to secure both formal and informal meetings with powerful government figures, including those in the Cabinet Office, as well as an invitation to contribute to a high profile seminar series titled 'Future Directions for Scientific Advice in Whitehall'."

The article considers the Sciencewise role in the development of ideas of open policy in detail. It concludes that Sciencewise as an 'organisation of participation' could be relevant to consideration of the institutions, practices, discourses, techniques and instruments that relate to shifts in British democratic structures and practice.

The article is available at

Helen's report for Sciencewise, outlining the lessons for organisational learning within and beyond Sciencewise, is available here.