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Wednesday, October 16 • 9:45am - 10:30am
Keynote: Who or what are universities for? Reflections on the communication and use of scientific knowledge

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The quality of scientific research is increasingly being measured by its capacity for impact: a transformation being driven by the imperatives of UK Research and Innovation funding and the Research Excellence Framework. This paper explores the implications of the impact agenda for the ways in which research is produced, communicated and used. It explores the lessons learned from two case studies:
  1. Building an interdisciplinary and co-produced strategy for research, education and engagement at the Edinburgh Futures Institute.
  2. Efforts to influence policy, practice and public opinion using the findings from the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime.
As the paper will demonstrate, these case studies raise major questions about the role and purpose of the 21st-century university, in the context of increasingly complex and contested political environments. The paper concludes with some reflections on what that role should be.

avatar for Lesley McAra

Lesley McAra

Director, University of Edinburgh
As inaugural director of the EFI, Lesley aims to harness the revolution in data, digital and artificial intelligence for social benefit. One of the largest-ever investments made by the University, EFI brings together the arts, humanities and social sciences with data science and the... Read More →

Wednesday October 16, 2019 9:45am - 10:30am BST
Plenary Room