The impact agenda is set to shape the way in which social scientists prioritise the work they choose to pursue, the research methods they use and how they publish their findings over the coming decade, but how much is currently known about how social science research has made a mark on society?
Based on a three year research project studying the impact of 360 UK-based academics on business, government and civil society sectors, this groundbreaking new book undertakes the most thorough analysis yet of how academic research in the social sciences achieves public policy impacts, contributes to economic prosperity, and informs public understanding of policy issues as well as economic and social changes. The Impact of the Social Sciences addresses and engages with key issues, including:
identifying ways to conceptualise and model impact in the social sciences
developing more sophisticated ways to measure academic and external impacts of social science research
explaining how impacts from individual academics, research units and universities can be improved.
This book is essential reading for researchers, academics and anyone involved in discussions about how to improve the value and impact of funded research.
You can read a snapshot of the results, Visualising the Data, free online. To download a PDF click here, or to browse a flipbook, click here.
Simon Bastow is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and LSE Public Policy Group. His research interests are in governance and executive politics, UK and comparative public policy, and impacts of social science. Patrick Dunleavy is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Chair of the LSE Public Policy Group. He has published extensively across UK public policy including public sector productivity, electoral systems and digital era governance. Jane Tinkler is the Head of Social Science for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. She is also Research Associate at the LSE Public Policy Group at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests focus on the quality of public services in the UK, including citizen redress in UK public services and the use of design approaches in innovative change in the public sector.
1. The Social Sciences in Modern Research The scale and diversity of the social sciences The social sciences and human-dominated systems Perceptions of `impact' from the social sciences PART I: HOW ACADEMICS ACHIEVE EXTERNAL IMPACTS 2. Social Scientists' Pathways to Impacts The academic impacts of social science researchers The external impacts of researchers Profiling different types of academic and their impacts 3. Modelling the Determinants of Social Science Impacts Multi-variate modelling of impacts The factors shaping academic impacts The factors shaping external impacts 4. Comparing Individuals' Impact Using case studies of high impact academics Explaining high impacts at the individual level Pulling together the analysis PART II: THE DEMAND FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH 5. Business and the Corporate Sector The range of university links with business The scale of social sciences involvement with business Barriers to greater use of social science research in firms 6. Government and Public Policy Making Social science and the policy arena The scale of social science links to policy Social scientists' influence on policy 7. Civil Society Organizations and the Third Sector Civil society organizations and `advocacy coalitions' The scale of social science research links to civil society Growing the impacts of social science in the third sector 8. The Media and Public Engagement Academic expertise and `the public' Social scientists and conventional news media Social science and social media Innovating with social science and the media PART III: PATTERNS OF KNOWLEDGE AND IMPACTS 9. The Dynamic Knowledge Inventory and Research Mediation The dynamic knowledge inventory The mediation of social science research 10. Social Science for a digital era Joining up for a `broad-front' social science Re-framing human-centred disciplines and integrating STEM and social sciences Towards a more global social science