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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.
Recent technological developments, especially in the field of machine learning, robotics, and A.I. have both wiped out entire sectors and created demand for new skills. There is considerable evidence that the technological change observed over the course of the last century has created more jobs than it made redundant and that it has favoured high-rather than low-skilled jobs. Voices claiming that this technological change led to mass unemployment have been proven largely wrong. But at the dawn of a new major technological shift, it is legitimate to revisit these questions and conclusions. Is the automation of labour as we might see it in the next few years fundamentally different? If almost all jobs that neither require a college degree nor advanced social skills were replaced by robots and sophisticated algorithms within the next two decades, what would human labour look like? How do we need to adapt our social organisation and tax system? And does this transformation make a Universal Basic Income inevitable?
Policy Challenges Collaboration
For the past six months, three teams of PhDs and post-docs from the University of Cambridge have collaborated with the Cambridgeshire County Council to provide advice on specific policy issues with direct relevance to the decision-making within the respective policy areas:
A University member of each team will give a short overview of the project they worked on, focusing on the process from first interactions with the Council to delivering a final advice. The University – Council collaboration will further be discussed in a round-table including the participants, as well as several members of the Cambridgeshire County Council. Enough time will be foreseen for questions, potentially by those interested to participate in this or similar initiatives in the future.
Our latest podcast examines the ever-growing field of big data. We asked experts in the field how the collection, storage and distribution of personal data intersects with citizens’ right to privacy. We spoke to Jennifer Copic and Dr. Eirann Leverett from the Centre for Risk Studies Team at the Cambridge University Judge Business School; Will Shackleton, a Cambridge alumnus who now works on the security team at Facebook; Dr. Jerry Fishenden, one of the UK’s leading experts in the world of technology and Edward Lucas, editor at The Economist. We also asked members of the public (who inadvertently generate data every day) their views about big data.
To enjoy the podcast, check us out here.
The vast majority of members of parliament do not hold degrees in the sciences, so how do they make legislation on scientific issues?
In the first episode of our podcast On theCusp, we discuss how governments integrate science into the policy making process. We spoke to Lord Martin Rees, astrophysicist and peer in the House of Lords, and Prof. Michelle Baddeley, a fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University. We also interviewed Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge and shadow Secretary for Transport, as well as Dr. David Cleeveley, founder of the Centre for Science and Policy. To gain insight into how the public can engage in Science and Policy, we spoke to Anna Perman from the British Science Association.
If you would like to know more about CUSPE see how to get involved here