What is Evidence Week?

Evidence Week has taken place annually in Westminster since 2018, bringing researchers and parliamentarians together to discuss ways of using evidence in policy. In 2022 we will also be launching Evidence Week in Holyrood.

Evidence Week has been held annually in Westminster since 2018, and brings together researchers, community groups and parliamentarians to share ideas about research and policy. In 2022 Evidence Week will also be held in Holyrood, bringing together Scottish parliamentarians, community groups and research to share ideas about research and policy in Scotland.

Parliament functions to debate issues that concern us all, to make and to improve legislation. MPs have challenging and varied responsibilities; their work can move from discussing the impact of housing policies in their constituencies to debating extended cancer screening programmes.

We believe that MPs don’t need a scientific background to understand the evidence that underpins these vital policy decisions. Evidence Week is an opportunity for the public, parliamentarians, and researchers to come together to share knowledge and insights that will help politicians scrutinise evidence.

Evidence Week 2021 Programme

“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, director, Sense about Science

Evidence Week in Holyrood 2022


Evidence Week in Holyrood will take place in Spring 2022, and will bring Scottish Parliamentarians, researchers and members of the public together in an online event, to discuss evidence in policymaking on issues specific to Scotland.

This event will give Scottish Parliamentarians a chance to meet and work with local researchers, and gain the tools to better understand and assess the evidence they come across through their parliamentary work. Evidence Week also gives a voice to constituents to raise their concerns and questions about the evidence behind the policies that matter to them most.

Holyrood 2022

Evidence Week in Westminster 2021


Evidence Week in Westminster 2021 took place on November 1st – 5th and brought parliamentarians and researchers together in a hybrid event to champion the use of high-quality evidence to develop policy, enrich parliamentarians’ understanding of key policy issues and develop researchers’ capacity to engage with policymakers. We accomplished this through our Opening Event Livestream, in-person meetings between parliamentarians and researchers in Upper Waiting Hall, and online meetings throughout the week.

Westminster 2021

Evidence Week in Westminster 2020


Evidence Week in Westminster 2020 took place on November 16th-20th. In its third year, Evidence Week in Westminster took place virtually, opening up an exciting new way for researchers, constituents, and parliamentarians to come together to discuss evidence in policymaking, as well as sharing ideas, techniques, and resources to help decision-makers get across complicated policy issues.

Westminster 2020

Evidence Week in Westminster 2019

In 2019 more than 100 MPs and peers got involved in Evidence Week in Westminster. 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.

Westminster 2019

Evidence Week in Westminster 2018

The first ever Evidence Week in Westminster was held in 2018. The week was opened by 30 community groups who spoke in parliament to MPs about why evidence matters to them. 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. Evidence Week in Westminster ended with a high-level roundtable about what people want and need from evidence gathering, which SAGE published as a discussion paper.

Westminster 2018

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