OSIRIS at the Atlanta Confernce on Science and Innovation policy
Wednesday 11th of October OSIRIS-members organized a session on new directions in impact measurements at the Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy.
The session Beyond established impact assessment approaches in STI policy discussed new theoretical and empirical approaches related to studies of the impact of research, targeting one of the main topics of the Atlanta Conference: "Evaluating economic, social, and environmental research outcomes”.
Finding several problems with the current state-of-the art of impact studies, the four invited papers aimed at opening up impact studies explicitly and systematically to broader normative debates:
Paper 1: Magnus Gulbrandsen, Taran Thune, Richard Woolley: Research impact as a process: The paper discussed the conceptual and methodological implications of a process view of research impact and to tie the science and innovation policy debate about impact to wider process frameworks and process theories of institutional and organizational change.
Paper 2: Jakob Edler, Kate Barker and Maria Karaulova: How to benefit? Conceptualising the demand for and absorption of research for policy making: The paper developed a conceptual framework to understand the demand for and use of research in policy making.
Paper 3: Gunnar Sivertsen: Frameworks for the understanding and evaluation of the societal impact of research in the humanities: The paper aimed to test out different frameworks of understanding the societal relevance of research. The study is based on more than 300 individual cases of societal impact in the humanities that have been reported to national research evaluation exercises in two countries, the United Kingdom in 2014 and Norway in 2016.
Paper 4: Maria Nedeva and Duncan Thomas: Assessing the Impact of Complex Policy Instruments on the Science System: REF and the ‘British Science System’: The paper aimed at investigating the impact of a specific, and complex, policy instrument (the REF in the UK) on the universities in the UK.
The full description of the session and abstracts of the papers can be found here (page 48).