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
Policy considerations for the continual advancement of space activity in the XXI century
Space satellite orbiting the earth. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.
We are in a golden age of space related activities. Not only do we heavily rely on space borne technologies but we are living in one of the most exciting times for space engineering and exploration. With the Rosetta mission and the Curiosity mission deemed a great success, there is more interest than ever in space engineering and exploration. In this lecture we bring together three experts from different avenues in the space arena to discuss their views on what policy considerations are needed for the continual advancement of space activity in the next century.
GenomicsChallenges to Whole Genome Sequencing in National Healthcare Systems
Technology for sequencing DNA has advanced very rapidly over the last 15 years, and is poised to become a routine part of clinical evaluation of individuals. The health regulatory agencies in most countries have maintained a conservative position in regards to adopting genetic testing. This is due to several fears, which will be discussed. Recently, social scientists have conducted studies and surveys to find out what the public’s opinion of genetic testing is, including the public’s ability to understand results, as well as their desire to find out if they are at risk for serious diseases later in life. However, this area of research is very recent and has not yet been featured by the media.
MedicineNot-so-magic Bullets: Searching for Better Policies to Govern Drug Discovery
In his upcoming book, Strange Pill: Evidence, Values, and Medical Nihilism, philosopher of Jacob Stegenga charts a history of the term “magic bullet”: a drug that is both specific and effective, curing the patient without side effects. Stegenga argues that the early 20th century was a “golden age” for magic bullets, with the discovery of drugs like penicillin and insulin, and that late 20th/early 21st century medicine has not been able to deliver drugs that are nearly as effective. I propose, by interviewing Stegenga, to outline why recently discovered drugs tend to have tiny effect sizes and bad side effects (and therefore a poor cost/benefit ratio.) I will then outline proposals for how the modern medical research agenda can be restructured so that its products more closely resemble “magic bullets,” an outcome that would save the NHS money and improve the patient experience.
EnergyPolicy in the Face of Uncertainty: The Smart Meter Dilemma
Smart technologies, which can communicate and share information, have been hailed as a panacea for a range of our energy problems. The possibilities for energy savings and greater energy efficiency are enormous. However, the behavioural science behind the effects of an in-home energy meter is mixed. Given that there is scientific uncertainty, how should policy makers respond? I argue that the Government must clearly prioritise its reasons for the adoption of smart meters in order to create meters that are most likely to produce a single desired result, instead of solving all the nation’s energy problems.
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