Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Making an impact: misreading, misunderstanding, and misrepresenting research does nothing to improve the quality of public debate and policy making

Overman, Henry G. (2014) Making an impact: misreading, misunderstanding, and misrepresenting research does nothing to improve the quality of public debate and policy making. Environment and Planning A, 46 (10). pp. 2276-2282. ISSN 0308-518X

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (344kB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1068/a140314c

Abstract

In a recent commentary for this journal, Haughton, Deas, and Hinks (henceforth HDH) discuss the dangers involved when trying to use academic research to influence policy. First, it is argued, there is the danger of co-option by wider (‘neoliberal’) political agendas. Second, and related, is the danger that researchers are “seduced in to providing provocative analyses in order to gain the attention of policy makers” (page 269). Some of my work, which in turn builds on the research of the Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC),(1) is used as an example to illustrate these dangers. In particular, HDH focus on work claimed to represent the “orthodoxy that infuses much of contemporary thinking about local and regional economic development in Britain … what might be described as a mix of agglomeration boosterism and antipathy towards planning” (page 265).(2) This commentary is, in part, written as a response to the criticisms raised by HDH. That task is complicated by the fact that these mainly take the form of vague accusations, assertions, or insinuations, while more specific criticisms seem to arise from misreading, misunderstanding, or misrepresenting the research they criticise. I give some examples of these issues below. The commentary also addresses some of the wider, substantive issues, around agglomeration and planning as well as briefly reflecting on the broader impact agenda and the issues this raises.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.envplan.com/A.html
Additional Information: © 2014 Pion
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Centre for Economic Performance
What Works Centre
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Research centres and groups > What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth (WWG)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2014 16:35
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2020 07:19
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/60200

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics