NUI Galway Hosts Irish Social Science Platform Conference

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

- How social science and business research can better inform policy making -
NUI Galway will today (Tuesday, 1 December) open the Irish Social Science Platform Annual Conference. The two-day event will focus on how and why social science and business research can better inform policy makers and the policy process. Conference keynotes and round table discussions will examine topics such as 'How should the Social Sciences relate to Public Policy?' and 'Social Science, Policy, and Partnership in Crisis'. Keynote speakers include Professor Diane Halpern of Claremont McKenna College, California, on A Cabinet-Level Office of Social Science Advisors: Mr Cowen and President Obama, Are you Listening? Dr Rory O'Donnell, Director of the National Economic and Social Council of Ireland (NESC) will speak about Social Science, Policy and Partnership in Crisis and Professor Paul Wyckoff of Hamilton College, New York will address Social Science and Public Policy: Bridging the 'Great Disconnect'. Commenting on the need to better link academic research and public policy, Professor Wyckoff of Hamilton College, notes: "Precious little of our hard-earned social science knowledge is used in actual policy debates. Instead, intuition, ideology and simplistic reasoning often drive decision-making". Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, NUI Galway, said: "Too often there is a gulf between the body of knowledge and information produced by social science researchers and the assumptions that motivate policy makers and public policy. One aim of the conference is to figure out ways to close this gap and improve public policy". In addition to invited international speakers and national policymakers, the event brings together faculty and Ph.D. students from various disciplines in eight third-level institutions. Most of the research presented will reflect the Irish Social Science Platform (ISSP) focus by investigating three broad themes of national importance – creating balanced development, sustaining communities, and building the knowledge economy. The ISSP programme is unique in that it integrates social science, business research and graduate training across multiple academic disciplines with the purpose of stimulating innovative social, cultural and economic transformations that will shape Ireland in the 21st century. The ISSP programme at NUI Galway, for example, brings together academics and Ph.D. students from The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, the Centre for Child and Family Support, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, the Centre for Research on Occupation and Life Stress, and the Irish Centre for Rural Transformation and Sustainability. For additional information and the conference programme please visit: www.conference.ieor contact Dr James Cunningham, at 091 493472 or email james.cunningham@nuigalway.ie
-Ends-

« Back