Investigating Academic Impact: a conference at the LSE on 13 June 2011

Academics today are increasingly being pressed to provide evidence of the impact of their research on the world outside academia, whilst universities now have to provide evidence of impact as part of the new Research Excellence Framework. For many, there is confusion about the different definitions of impact that exist amongst funding bodies and research councils, and also about methods of measuring impact.

The Investigating Academic Impact Conference being held at the London School of Economics on Monday 13th June 2011 aims to look at a range of issues surrounding the impact of academic work on government, business, communities and public debate. With discussion panels focusing on how we define different types of impacts, how impacts happen, and innovative ways that academics can communicate their work, the conference will also involve practical sessions to look at how academic work has impact among policy-making and business communities, how academic communication can be improved, and how individual academics can easily start to assess their own impact. The aim is to bring together over 300 academics and researchers from across Europe for a comprehensive day of debate on the future direction of academic impact, and for all those attending to come away feeling confident about measuring their own impact.

Speakers and session leaders are all experts in their fields, able to shed light on a variety of important topics.

  • Discussing the REF are Professor Rick Rylance (AHRC), David Sweeney (HEFCE), Professor Paul Wiles (REF impact pilot), and Astrid Wissenberg (ESRC)
  • Debating the role of think tanks are Nick Pearce (IPPR), Professor Judy Sebba (University of Sussex), Paul Manners (National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement), and Daniel Lindsay (Shelter)
  • Examining innovative methods for engagement are Charlie Beckett (POLIS, LSE); Professor Stephen Curry (Imperial College London) Dr Martyn Lawrence (Emerald Publishing), and Mike Peel (Wikimedia UK)

The Conference is free and open to all, but registration is essential via impactofsocialsciences@lse.ac.uk.

More details including times and panel sessions can be found at the LSE Impact Blog. The blog seeks to serve as a hub of information on all areas of the impacts debate, through which the LSE Impact team will be disseminating a Handbook on maximising the impact of academic research, as well as providing other tips, best practice, and advice. The blog is updated daily with news articles and event notices, as well as longer comment pieces written by academics and those interested in impact in the UK and abroad. Since its launch in January 2011, the blog has grown rapidly and now has around 1500 hits a week. We invite comments, posts, articles, event notices, and research materials from people interested in the impacts debate. You can also tweet with us at @LSEImpactBlog, and join our 500 followers in tweeting about all things impact-related.

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