Evidence Matters

because science reporting and decision-making should be evidence-based

Posts Tagged ‘Lord Drayson

Science: So What? Commissioning and promoting bad research in the name of science communications

with 3 comments

We were disappointed to see that The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) science communication campaign Science: So What? So Everything had commissioned and was promoting a poor quality research report. This report – The Shape of Jobs to Come by Rohit Talwar and Tim Hancock [PDF] of Fast Future – has been heavily PRd, with approving quotes from Gordon Brown and Lord Drayson [PDF]. Even at a glance, though, it clearly fails to meet some basic research standards: for example, the methodologies used are not justified and the references provided are frequently inadequate.

We therefore asked a few social scientists for their opinions of the report. One of them wrote an extensive review of the report, to highlight some of the problems. The review has been sent to BIS, but they still stand by the report. The review is therefore pasted below: so that readers can make up their own minds as to the quality of the Fast Future report.

Because we wanted to give BIS time to respond, before posting, it has taken a while to blog this. In the meantime, 10minus9 has been starting to pull the report apart in excellent posts on Fast Future‘s report for Science: So What. There’s a little overlap with the review below, so definitely worth reading 10minus9 too.

The review follows in full Read the rest of this entry »