Nottingham Digitally Engaged: Has COVID-19 changed evidence based policymaking?

As part of the Institute for Policy and Engagement’s “Nottingham Digitally Engaged 2020” fortnight, this panel will offer insight from policy professionals and academics on how the nature of policy impact and engagement with policymakers has changed during COVID-19.

Given the reliance on and emerging of research based policy making in the media and heightened interest in policy making processes like the use of SAGE for the COVID-19 response, this panel will aim to address how getting research into policy making has changed.

Nottingham Digitally Engaged 2020

The Institute for Policy and Engagement presents a fortnight of online events designed to explore recent developments in both policy and public engagement. In a world increasingly connected through digital means this online version of the annual Nottingham Engaged Conference brings together a mix of internal and external expertise. Join us to discover new approaches, share your experiences, participate in debates and ensure you are aware of the factors impacting these fields. Topics to be included build on our past programmes and are delivered in the context of the UK’s departure from the EU, the global pandemic and a new age for digital engagement.

Speaker Profiles:

Chair: Stephen Meek, Director, Institute for Policy and Engagement
Stephen joined the University as the inaugural Director of the Institute for Policy and Engagement in September 2018, following a career in the UK Civil Service. He held board-level posts in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education, and has also had senior roles in HM Treasury, Cabinet Office and, on secondment, in the Local Government Association and working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Authorities on public service reform and devolution. Stephen is currently chair of the University Policy Engagement Network, which brings together policy facing functions from over 50 UK Universities.

Prof Tom Rodden, Professor of Computer Science and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Professor Tom Rodden has been appointed as the Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and begins this role in January 2019. Tom Rodden is a Professor of Computing at the University of Nottingham and the Deputy Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) where he is responsible for research strategy, acting as the UK Research and Innovation lead in both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and e-Infrastructure. Tom founded and co-directed the RCUK Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, a university-wide interdisciplinary research centre and showcased some of the first applications of mobile technologies to support tourism. He has acted as technical advisor to companies including the Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge, Mobile Life (a Swedish centre of excellence) and been a visiting scientist at Xerox PARC and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS).

Jill Rutter, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government
Jill is co-author of the Institute’s work on making policy better, policy success and innovation in policy processes as well as how to manage relationships with arm’s-length bodies. Before joining the Institute, Jill was Director of Strategy and Sustainable Development at Defra. Previous civil service jobs included periods as Treasury Communications Director, in private office and as the policy lead on tax, development and local government finance, as well as a period in the Number 10 Policy Unit. She also worked for BP for six years. Jill is a frequent blogger, drawing both on IfG research and her wider experience. She is a regular commentator on civil service and policy making for radio and television and has appeared on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, World at One, Beyond Westminster and most recently, Start the Week and the Today programme.

Dr Kathryn Oliver, Associate Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, (Transforming Evidence).
Dr Kathryn Oliver is a social scientist at LSHTM. Kathryn studied Molecular Biology at UCL (2003). Via a MSc in History of Science, Technology and Medicine (2004), she soon became interested in broader questions about how scientific knowledge and expertise are constructed, owned and used. Her PhD (Manchester, 2012) was half sociology, half public health, exploring social networks of power, influence and evidence-use in public health policymaking. She has interests in the use of evidence in policy making, especially public health policy, the evaluation of social interventions and policies and research impact and science policy. She is currently working as an ESRC/Government-Office for Science Fellow on the UK Government Areas of Research Interest. Previously she has been an Associate Editor of Evidence and Policy journal, an expert advisor for WHO, a member of SocSocMed and INSNA, and a regular contributor to the Guardian, Research Fortnight and other media.

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