Evidence Week 2018 was run by Sense about Science, the House of Commons Library, the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in partnership with SAGE Publishing and in collaboration with other external organisations who brought key insights into the use and scrutiny of evidence.
The week was opened by 30 community groups who spoke in parliament to MPs about why evidence matters to them. A personal trainer called for MPs to regulate misleading advertising for food supplements, the president of the National Allotment Society spoke of the evidence that gardening increases wellbeing and a Scouts leader highlighted the importance for young people to seek out the evidence behind claims they encounter online. This showcased how evidence is essential in every walk of life, and that the public expects MPs to scrutinise it on their behalf.
On the day of a Commons debate on improving air quality, experts in monitoring and health effects from UCL, Southampton, Manchester and King’s College London briefed MPs at the stand. Amongst others, Mary Creagh came to our stand in Upper Waiting Hall to discover her constituency air quality data. Evidence Week ended with a high level roundtable about what people want and need from evidence gathering, which SAGE will publish as a discussion paper this autumn.
On 1st November 2016 one hundred people from across the UK went to parliament. 15 of them spoke on why evidence matters to them, and heard responses from parliamentarians. On 21st June 2017, one hundred people from across Europe went to the EU Parliament to do the same.
We plan to build on these successes and hold similar events in the devolved parliaments. We are currently in the midst of organising Evidence Matters Ireland in November 2018. Contact us for more information.