Relevant to: Research, policy, practice
Sector: Social sciences
In this paper Caswill and Lyall reconsider the concept of knowledge brokering, to fill the gaps in our understanding of knowledge brokerage, taking a longer term perspective of debates in the social sciences about the effective transmission of scientifically produced knowledge into the worlds of policy and practice. The authors use a mixed-methods analysis of data collected from both researchers and policymakers on the relevance of alternative models of knowledge take-up in the 21st century and of the place of intermediation within them. The authors used data from UK social scientists and policy makers who had participated in an EU funded research project.
Stakeholder interviews confirmed a diversity of interactions between researchers and policy-makers. The authors also noted evidence of competition for knowledge in and around policy organizations. They also noted differences in preference for engagement by social scientists with policy-makers; some were strongly in favor, others were strongly opposed. The results highlighted the difficulties researchers have in communicating their research to policy-makers. Tensions between engagement and detachment were also clearly visible.
One of the main conclusions of this study is that social science knowledge must compete with other knowledge sources in an open knowledge market. There is a need for social scientists to be better prepared for this competition. Knowledge brokerage is increasingly encouraged by the impact agenda although there is little appetite for knowledge brokerage among social scientists.
This summary was developed from the following paper:
Caswill C. and Lyall C (2013) Knowledge brokers, entrepreneurs and markets. Evidence and Policy 9(3): 353-369.