Political science | The Guardian

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Why is populism suddenly all the rage?

In 1998, about 300 Guardian articles mentioned populism. In 2016, 2,000 did. What happened? • Revealed: how populists tripled their vote over 20 yearsPopulism is sexy. Particularly since 2016 – the year of the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump – it seems as if journalists just cannot get enough of it. In 1998, the Guardian published...

From diet pills to driverless cars: why we need to debate the politics of science and technology

It’s time to say goodbye to the Political Science blog at the Guardian – but we’re moving to a new homeLast week, the results of a successful trial of a new diet pill – lorcaserin – were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and immediately hailed by some as a “holy grail” in the fight against obesity. The study of 12,000 people in the US...

A no-deal Brexit will betray British science

With more than £500m a year at stake, the scale of losses to UK research from a no-deal Brexit are becoming clearOn 14 June 2016, just over a week before the EU referendum, Vote Leave were keen to calm the fears of British scientists, farmers and others who relied on European funds. The thirteen Vote Leave ministers signed a pledge, still standing on...

Is UK science and innovation up for the climate challenge?

The government has shaken up the UK research system. But fossil fuels, not low-carbon technologies, still seem to be in the driving seat.A new report by Richard Jones and James Wilsdon invites us to question the biomedical bubble - the slow but steady concentration of research and development (R&D) resources in the hands of biomedical science.A...

It’s time to burst the biomedical bubble in UK research

A new study calls for a rebalancing of research and innovation funding to better meet the UK’s economic, social and health needsThe political turmoil over recent days has meant that a speech last week by Sam Gyimah, minister for universities and science, hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Opening the Schrödinger Building in Oxford, Gyimah set...

Has the tide turned towards responsible metrics in research?

A new report takes stock of how metrics are being used and abused in research management across UK universities In his 2003 bestseller Moneyball, the writer Michael Lewis describes how the fortunes of the Oakland Athletics baseball team were transformed by the rigorous use of predictive data and modelling to identify undervalued talent. These approaches...

Elsevier are corrupting open science in Europe

Elsevier - one of the largest and most notorious scholarly publishers - are monitoring Open Science in the EU on behalf of the European Commission. Jon Tennant argues that they cannot be trusted.Open Science is all about making science work better so that it can address the world’s challenges. It has been at the top of the EU’s agenda for some time....

How can climate policy stay on top of a growing mountain of data?

Tracking all the relevant publications on climate change has become impossible. Climate science and policy need a new approach for an age of big literatureWhen the lines between scientific facts, legitimate disagreements and uncertainties about climate change are being deliberately blurred – not least by world leaders like Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip...

What would a 19th-century science hero make of today's policy world? | Roland Jackson

John Tyndall – the man who explained why the sky is blue – would be baffled by the idea of democratic discussion of the direction of research and innovation John Tyndall – the 19th-century Irish scientist (c. 1822–93), not the 20th-century neo-Nazi – was the man who measured the absorption of heat by gases in the atmosphere, underpinning our modern...

Smart cities need thick data, not big data

In Barcelona, high-tech data platforms generate demand for old-fashioned community development.Residents living around Plaça del Sol joke that theirs is the only square where, despite the name, rain is preferable. Rain means fewer people gather to socialise and drink, reducing noise for the flats overlooking the square. Residents know this with considerable...

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