Science advice at times of crisis: what roles for universities and academies?#

An international webinar, Monday 25th April 2022

15:00-16:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST) and South Africa Standard Time (SAST)
14:00-15:00 West European Summer Time (WEST), UK and Ireland
09:00-10:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) in United States

University and academy networks of expertise play a key role at the research-policy interface, but is their role really understood, recognised and sufficiently resourced? And what is their role at times of crisis?

Science advice to policymakers has come to the fore during the Covid crisis. It is likely to remain so, given the ever-increasing complexity of the knowledge needed for dealing with 21st-century global policy challenges.

University and academy policy engagement networks (such as UPEN in the UK, the Africa Research and Impact Network, Research Impact Canada and SAPEA in the European Union) have established themselves as a core element in the science advice ecosystem. Working across traditional organisational and disciplinary boundaries, they facilitate knowledge generation, synthesis, brokering, horizon-scanning, and much more. They do so in a way that is both nimble and responsive, while also evidence-based and non-partisan.

But is the role of such networks fully understood or acknowledged? How has their role changed over time? Where is the evidence with regard to ‘what works’, especially in relation to sharing best practice or nurturing leadership? What sorts of pressures do these networks and their members find themselves under and how do they cope? How can we make our networks even stronger?

Join our international panel of experts, who will discuss and debate the issues with the audience. Our webinar is free and open to all worldwide.

Our expert panel#

  • Dr Oludurotimi Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science, Brown University
  • Professor Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics and Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, University of Sheffield and Chair, Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN)
  • Dr Cornel Hart, Senior Lecturer, Community Development Programme, University of the Western Cape, and Board Member of South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF)
  • Dr David Phipps, Assistant Vice-President, Research Strategy & Impact (Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation) at York University and Director, Research Impact Canada
  • Chris Webber, Head, Open Innovation Team, UK Government

About the webinar#

A joint event between Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN), Academia Europaea, Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), Research Impact Canada, South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF), Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA).

Register now#

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