Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor and Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), has welcomed a landmark study, launched today, examining the use of research by Parliamentarians.
This two year project was carried out by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in conjunction with University College London and funded through a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
The launch event featured high profile speakers, including Professor Sir Mark Walpot (Chief Executive Designate, UKRI) and a panel discussion on the report’s findings.
The report found that nearly all Parliamentarians and their staff considered research useful, that credibility was the highest concern when choosing sources and that research was gathered from a variety of sources. However, several caveats were noted, including a lack of methodology behind how the credibility of a source was assessed and limited uptake of academic papers.
The Chair of POST, Adam Afriyie, welcomed the report:
“It was good to deliver the opening remarks at the launch of POST’s new report today. It is the first time a robust and comprehensive study has been undertaken of the use of science and evidence in Parliament and my thanks goes to the entire team.
“Evidence-based policy has gained some serious traction over the last decade. It is reassuring to see that there is a voracious appetite for research and evidence amongst MPs, Peers, their staff, clerks and other parliamentarians.
“The report’s findings on what parliamentarians and their staff look for in research papers is a validation of POST’s core strategy in producing POSTnotes which are brief and accessible papers laying out the research landscape in topical areas.
“Whilst independent research is becoming incrementally more embedded in the policy process every year, it is by no means perfect and the panel discussion threw up some interesting areas where there could be improvement.
“POST leads the way in providing parliamentarians with a source of independent, non-partisan and peer reviewed advice. But we cannot rest on our laurels and must seek ways to enhance our role in continuing to present impartial, peer-reviewed information in a way that is quick and easy to assimilate.”
Note to editors
1. Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
2. He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
4. He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.