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Taylor & Francis Briefs UK Members of Parliament on Action Required to Realize the Full Potential of Research

Photo of Aaron Bell MP speaking to Victoria Gardner (Director of Policy at Taylor & Francis) at Evidence Week in the Houses of Parliament
Aaron Bell MP and Victoria Gardner (Director of Policy at Taylor & Francis) at Evidence Week

As part of this year’s UK Evidence Week, the Taylor & Francis Policy Team met with Members of Parliament, Peers, and parliamentary staff, to present a framework for making research more usable for policymakers and supportive of evidence-informed policy.

Parliamentarians were introduced to the recommendations of a recent policy note, written with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), on how research can be made more accessible, interoperable, efficient and effective. Discussions also included the topics of open research (including its real world impact), research impact, and the role and value of humanities research in supporting evidence-based policy.

Taylor & Francis spoke with, among others, Aaron Bell MP, Thangam Debbonaire MP, Stephen Metcalfe MP and Liz Twist MP, about the ways in which research findings could be made more useful for their work. The MPs were also encouraged to consider partnership opportunities with academia, industry and the public to realize the potential of research.

Evidence Week is a unique annual event bringing together the public, parliamentarians and researchers from across the UK to discuss how evidence from frontline research can inform policymaking in Parliament. A representative from Open Pharma also Joined the Taylor & Francis team on their pod. Open Pharma is an initiative focused on improving the transparency, accountability, accessibility and discoverability of published research.

Victoria Gardner, Director of Policy at Taylor & Francis, said: “We are exploring how to make research outputs more accessible and usable, including using new formats for communicating results, and making more outputs accessible to all readers through open access. Evidence Week was a great opportunity to bring research and policy together, and to hear directly from policymakers about how we can help them to use the UK’s world leading research to make better evidence-informed policy”.

Evidence Week, now in its sixth year, is run by the campaigning charity Sense about Science and the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST), in partnership with the House of Commons Library, House of Lords Library, Ipsos, the Office for Statistics Regulation and researcher institutions from across the UK. During the week, MPs meet with leading scientists to get the latest insights on pressing issues covering topics as varied as housing, food supplies, energy, health and inequality.

Tracey Brown, Director of Sense about Science, said:  “From farming to urban traffic, the quality of research and evidence used affects whether policies and laws make sense. We are delighted that MPs have the opportunity to learn from Taylor & Francis about making better use of research evidence at Evidence Week in Parliament. Connections with cutting edge research are important for MPs, who have to pass laws, check up on government and understand the issues that are affecting their constituents.”

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