In June 2019 more than 100 MPs and peers got involved in Evidence Week in UK Parliament, run by Sense about Science. They received 3-minute briefings at ‘evidence pods’ in Upper Waiting Hall in the Houseof Commons, on how to handle the evidence on 20 pressing policy issues.
Evidence Week in Parliament aimed to equip MPs with the tools they need to interrogate evidence across a range of policy issues. Between elections, parliament is fundamental to scrutinising the evidential reasoning of policy. Increasingly, this means asking searching questions of new sources of data,as well as complex interactions between variables and trade offs to consider.To open Evidence Week community speakers brought to life the same evidence issues that the MPs are currently dealing with, as outlined in new data released at the event from Ipsos MORI’s MP survey.
Innovative 3-minute briefings
We brought in 20 research groups from partner organisations to host innovative evidence pods. These 3-minute briefings tackled issues such as how to: visualise community inequalities, work out the effect of pupil premium or see the scale of the drone noise problem. We counted 163 of these innovative briefings given to MPs and peers across the two days.
Evidence Week is in partnership with the House of Commons Library, POST (the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology) and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Sense about Science is grateful for the support of our principal partners SAGE, LSE and Wiley, our Evidence Pod partners as well as British Pharmacological Society and Imperial College London who have contributed towards funding Evidence Week 2019. Find out more about our Evidence Week partners here.
“Worrying about whether politicians have science backgrounds is a mistake. What we should ask is, what are the insights and resources from research that would help politicians? That’s what Evidence Week is for.”
– Tracey Brown, Sense about Science