It is clear that current policy settings in the tertiary and science policy sector - including research funding - favour the STEM subjects (that is, science (including medicine), technology, engineering and mathematics). This is not unique to New Zealand. This seminar will outline various potential strategies that the social sciences can deploy in a programme of regrouping, renewal and response. In particular, I will draw on the findings of a recently published book, The Impact of the Social Sciences, by Bastow and colleagues (2014).While this book is UK-focussed, their work has broader application. I will also integrate recently published work of mine about making strong, policy-relevant inferences in real-world settings (Data Inference in Observational Settings, Sage, 2014). Although the tenor of my argument will be influenced by my experience of working in a predominantly applied and research-intensive academic setting in the health and social sectors, I believe there are lessons and discussion points for the wider professional agenda of the social sciences.
BA(S’ton), MSc(London), PhD
Peter Davis is Professor, Sociology of Health and Well-Being, at The University of Auckland. Until recently he was Senior Editor (Health Policy), Social Science and Medicine.
In 2003 Peter was the recipient of the New Zealand Medical Association’s highest honour, the Chairman’s Award.
Peter has cross-appointments in the Department of Statistics and in the School of Population Health, and also heads the COMPASS (Centre of Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences) Research Centre.