“First impressions and reaching out” is the title of our second BIS science podcast, following on from our first released during National Science & Engineering Week. This “episode” focuses on science policy advice with reflections from Leila Luheshi, a science policy maker on a secondment undertaken specifically to see how science advice filters into the policy making process, and the initial reflections of Sir Mark Walport, and what can be expected from his time in office as Government Chief Scientific Advisor.
Interestingly, he doesn’t see too many differences with the Wellcome Trust (perhaps “yet” is an operative word here, as Leila pointed out to me on Twitter), while Leila herself thoughtfully reflects on the differences – both unanticipated and not – with her academic role. It was great to see her blowing some misconceptions – eg around joined up working – out of the water.
Indeed, what’s hopefully coming through from both of our episodes so far, are those surprising snippets that humanise policy makers, and shed new light on roles and responsibilities. I hope others agree.
But, this particular podcast is also interesting for me, as it shows how things have moved on since my time working on the last Public Attitudes to Science study. My ex-colleague Karen also appears, giving a bit more insight into the science and society review, but also detailing what to expect from Public Attitudes to Science 2014! There’s an appetite for blogging that research, much earlier in the process this time round, and I’m sure that social media will feature both in the research itself, and in spreading the word about its results.