CUSPE is an organisation run by and for early career researchers that aims to build stronger links between its members and government policy-makers. Founded in 2012, the society strives to support young researchers who wish either to influence policy from within the research environment of the University or to pursue directly a career with the governments of the UK or European Union. CUSPE attracts researchers from across the academic disciplines (scientists, engineers and social scientists), all of whom have a desire to understand how their own research, or science more generally, fits within a broader policy context.
CUSPE provides an excellent forum for students, industry and government representatives to engage in informed debate about topical policy issues. The events are well organised, and the organisers are enthusiastic, engaging and impressive. Read more
The meeting was highly insightful and well organised. As the co-founder of Innovation Forum (IF) (http://www.inno-forum.org
), I am delighted that IF supported this excellent CUSPE event. We are very much looking forward to support CUSPE in additional future high calibre events. Read more
Considering engagement with others is a key role of government, it is valuable to establish this link between policy advisers and another “interest group” (for want of a better term) of academics – we already engage industry, NGOs, other Member States etc but not directly academics. Read more
The Innovation Forum was delighted to support this event. Excellent follow up on the discussions on university – industry partnerships and true open innovation we had at our recent conference in Cambridge. Read more
Very engaged community, excited about commercializing so many ideas. A pleasure to be a part of the event. Read more
I found the workshop very useful in understanding Defra policy areas from a different perspective and to learn about the cutting edge research in these areas. It was also useful to become more conscious of how researchers work in general, and to think about how our work can align in future. Read more
I found the workshop a valuable and eye-opening experience. Even as an economist using evidence every day, it’s easy to view the academic world as a completely separate area, from which evidence is used when it is published and available. This perception creates a barrier to the potential synergies policy and academia could create. Building these relationships in the early stages of my career I’m sure will be very valuable. Read more
I would say it is thanks to the CUSPE-CSaP interaction that I received the opportunity to perform a secondment placement at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Before describing my secondment in more detail, I would like to stress that my experience at BIS has been extremely valuable for many reasons. It gave me a general flavour of how a government department works, it provided me with the opportunity to have an internal view on the process of policy making and gain insights into the dynamics and time-frames in which civil servants operate. Read more
Has the UK had enough of experts?
In most Western societies, expertise has become of the essence. It has permeated the realms of both private and public decision-making, making its owners, the experts, recipients of substantial power. Yet, in spite of – or perhaps due to – their prominent role, experts are often regarded with suspicion: while expertise is generally considered important for decision-making, the wider polity does not necessarily trust the experts to put their expertise to good use, i.e. to the pursuance of the Greater Good. This lack of trust undermines the relevance of expert knowledge and, in the more extreme cases, leads to its outright rejection. Hence the question: have people had enough of experts?
We shall raise this question in the context of the U.K. The discussion will focus on role of experts in modern societies and ways to improve their perception by the general public.
Eye in the Sky: Proliferation of Remote Sensing
The proliferation of commercial remote sensing satellites has increased the availability of satellite images. These images are predicted to increase in spatial and temporal resolution (clarity and frequency) until satellite imagery becomes near real-time. This new technology will have positive and negative effects on society due to the dual nature of satellite imagery. This paper highlights some of the potential consequences of ubiquitous satellite imagery. Furthermore, it examines current regulations and illustrates how these regulations will be unsuitable in the future. Finally, it examines UN regulations surrounding satellite imagery and if international treaties could be used to regulate this technology.
Advanced Artificial Intelligence: Policy and Strategy
AI technology has the potential to bring huge benefits to society. It is also possible that advanced Artificial General Intelligence – AI capable of performing at or above human level on a wide range of tasks – could be highly destructive, as discussed by an increasing number of experts in the field. There are many misconceptions about the field of AI and its potential dangers. The problem is not that an AI system will suddenly develop human-like emotions of anger or resentment and ‘rebel’. Rather the issues are more subtle. How can we reliably predict the behaviour of an AI system? How can we specify the goals of a system such that we avoid unanticipated side-effects? How do we ensure that those developing advanced AI are paying sufficient attention to ensuring safety, and avoid arms-race dynamics?
The The Opportunities and Risks of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Health
Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being applied in healthcare and medicine, with the greatest impact being achieved thus far in medical imaging. These are technologies that are capable of performing a task that usually requires human perception and judgement, which can make them controversial in a healthcare setting. In this article we will explore some of the opportunities and risks in using AI in healthcare, as well as policy recommendations for improving their use and acceptance.
Writing for CUSPE
What is the future of education in terms of technology and evidence? What kinds of research techniques, such as random controlled trials (RCTs), can contribute to an evidence-based education system? Should education policy be based on such types of evidence in the first place? These were just some of the questions addressed at the first major CUSPE event of 2015. The evening began with a brief overview of CUSPE and our aims, and proceeded directly to presentations by each of the four panelists.
How to communicate with policymakers
Research communication is not just an addition to research but a fundamental part of the process. As Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Mark Walport, commented, “Science is not finished until it is communicated.” Furthermore, with the current drive towards evidence-based policies, it is essential that research be effectively communicated to policymakers.
Science in policymaking
Around the world, there is a drive towards the use of evidence in the design, implementation and review of policies. With Government funding of research in the UK under threat, and with only the minority of MPs having any form of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) background, it is vital that current STEM researchers engage with policymakers and politicians.
What we do
- Talks – The core of CUSPE are our events, bringing the worlds leading figures in science and policy to Cambridge
- Workshops – By uniting world experts in a single room, CUSPE is not only following, but shaping Government policy
- Policy Visits
- Horizon Scanning
- Much more…
If you would like to know more about CUSPE see how to get involved here