‘Academics’ research is highly trusted but rarely used by policymakers. With more than 200,000 academics working in UK universities, this is a huge missed opportunity for better-informed policy. How could we do more to translate this expertise into social impact – to put our research excellence to public service?
[Mark Shucksmith’s] new report for the Carnegie UK Trust, InterAction: How Can Academics and the Third Sector Work Together to Influence Policy and Practice? explores what we can do to make this happen. You might ask: why?
First, it’s important to remember that both third-sector practitioners and academic institutions are knowledge creators working for the public benefit. Each has a shared interest in achieving impact and, although they work with different types of knowledge and expertise, they have real potential together to improve social policy and practice. This doesn’t always happen at the moment and our research suggests that there is a real gap to fil.
This is an opportune moment as we reaffirm the public purpose of universities and emphasise the role of science in society. Although it is just a starting point, I hope that this report will serve to encourage universities, the third sector and funders to consider how they can work more effectively together and to draw on each other’s strengths for the public good.’ - Times Higher Education