School of Sociology and Social Policy

Research Projects

Theme 1

1. Transparency, Expertise and Evidence in Policymaking


  1. Describe how different forms of expertise and (scientific) evidence are involved in the framing and management of contemporary policy and political problems
  2. Analyse how experts and policymakers construct or blur boundaries between public/ private and science/politics, how these are challenged, and the implications for scientific and political legitimacy
  3. Investigate ways in which different forms of expertise and policy making can or should be made more transparent at a time when scientific knowledge is increasingly linked to commerce

Project 1.1 Models of Managing Science/Politics Boundaries

Project 1.2 Research agendas for food provisioning: UK framing practices and science-policy interactions

Project 1.3 Making evidence public in policy making

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Theme 2

2. Science, Publics and the Making of Politics


  1. Describe how scientists and scientific knowledge are entangled in the framing of established political problems and the making of new political controversies
  2. Discover the way in which the conduct and findings of scientific research are challenged by various publics and how they are defended
  3. Examine how controversies around science and technology are creating new democratic spaces, governance challenges and forms of public participation

Project 2.1 Science, religion and the making of publics in the US and UK

Project 2.2 Animals and the making of scientific knowledge

Project 2.3 Science, scepticism and politics 

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Theme 3

3. Public Engagement, Meditation and Deliberation Over Science and Technology


  1. Investigate how deliberative experiments around science and technology mediate between competing forms of knowledge, value judgements and public/professional interests
  2. Examine the role of intermediaries in opening up debates between science, politics and publics and the questions this raises for the legitimacy, transparency and authority of science and government
  3. Explore how constructive dialogue between different stakeholder groups may guide the trajectory of technological innovation

Project 3.1 Novel Food Technologies and Deliberative Technology Assessment

Project 3.2 The role of intermediaries in deliberating science and politics

Project 3.3 Publics and the Making of Socially Responsible Research and Innovation 

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Theme 4

4. Cross Cutting Project: Making Science Public: Implications for the Theory and Practice of Democracy

Sujatha Raman and project leaders

This will synthesise the findings of the sub-projects to provide an overarching analysis of moves towards, challenges, and implications of making science and science-based policy more public in the UK. This will be done through the elaboration of concepts and theory, systematic comparison of cases and the development of a range of policy options.

In particular, it will seek to establish principles and practices for making science more public, evidence more robust and government more open and transparent. The project will be integrated into the overall programme from the start and will be based on a series of workshops coinciding with visiting fellowships from leading international experts and will bring together academics, politicians, policy makers and scientists. 

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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