Celebrating the impact of Wales’s research

By Kirstie Hewlett and Saba Hinrichs-Krapels

We and colleagues have carried out several analyses exploring the impact case studies submitted to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), the national assessment of the quality of UK universities’ research.

We first looked at all 6,679 non-redacted impact case studies submitted to REF 2014. Then followed commissions to undertake further analyses of sub-samples, including a study funded by the National Institute for Health Research and another on international development. Now, for the first time, we have published a report, commissioned by the Learned Society of Wales, in which we analysed all of the case studies submitted for a single devolved country – the 273 impact case studies submitted from universities in Wales. Continue reading

Shortlists and Swagger: What’s behind the glacial progress of women in parliament?

By Laura Jones

It’s possible to detect a certain paucity of ambition in celebrating Britain taking its place as 38th in the global rankings of anything, but something like this was evidenced in the string of headlines last week touting the record breaking achievement of a 32 per cent female parliament. Although this was an improvement on the UK’s previous position at number 47 in the world, leapfrogging past Sudan and landing just south of El Salvador, it leaves us far behind much of Europe.  Continue reading

The end of roaming charges: the policy and politics in Brexit Britain

By Armida van Rij

With summer now firmly underway, and many people taking their holidays, our continental neighbours have a very timely present for the UK: as of yesterday, all EU citizens – including UK residents – will no longer pay roaming charges for using their mobile phones abroad in other EU countries, as well as being far less likely to face ‘bill shocks’ when returning from foreign trips. Unfortunately, however, there’s a big, obvious stumbling block for those of us who live in the UK: Brexit. So how will the UK’s departure from the EU impact British residents with regards to this policy? Continue reading

Lifting the lid on a live project: Bringing behavioural insights into NHS procurement

By Harriet Boulding, Saba Hinrichs, Hannah Burd, Mark Egan and Michael Hallsworth

In his February 2016 independent report, Lord Carter announced the creation of a ‘model hospital’. The purpose of this imaginary hospital is to show ‘what good looks like’ by providing a set of metrics, best practice checklists and benchmarks for other hospitals to build into their procurement processes.

This is a much needed endeavour. Lord Carter noted that ‘after analysing the variation in non-clinical resource costs we believe there is at least a £2 billion opportunity across the areas of procurement, estates and facilities and administration (back-office) costs.’ Continue reading

Lies tend to corrupt

By Professor Jonathan Grant

‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ as Lord Acton famously said in 1887. Perhaps today we can paraphrase this to ‘lies corrupt and absolute lies corrupt absolutely’.

In the EU referendum, the US presidential elections and now the early skirmishes of the UK general election, it seems that the winner is the side that can mislead the most effectively. Continue reading