Past Event

Sussex Development Lectures

Policy pull or science push? How best to build bridges in challenging times?

24 February 2022 17:00–18:30


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Many of us would give an almost instinctual answer to the question posed in the title to this Sussex Development Lecture. We would say that clearly both are important.  However, the relationship between scientific advice in response to immediate policy questions on one hand, and research and evidence based on academic drivers on the other,  is a complex one and in practice has often been fraught.

Covid-19 and other global crises are forcing us to the rethink the relationship between science and policy. We increasingly ask ourselves how we create a better fit between problem-led research activity and the science which we can potentially use to address those problems.  As thinking evolves, our practice of trying to close the gap between science push and policy pull changes. 

We’ve often used the notion of broker or broker and intermediaries to describe the need to for individuals and organisations which bridge the gap between research and policy.  As policy pull and science push agendas become more intertwined, join this Sussex Development Lecture to hear Professor Joanna Chataway discuss the idea that the notion of broker maybe incomplete and perhaps even misleading, and the necessity to develop new concepts to join policy and science.


  • Professor Joanna Chataway, PI of the International Public Policy Observatory, Co-lead of the STRINGS project and Head of the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London (UCL) 


  • Dr Matias Ramirez, Senior Lecturer, SPRU, University of Sussex

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