Handbook on Science and Public Policy
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Handbook on Science and Public Policy

Edited by Dagmar Simon, Stefan Kuhlmann, Julia Stamm and Weert Canzler

This Handbook assembles state-of-the-art insights into the co-evolutionary and precarious relations between science and public policy. Beyond this, it also offers a fresh outlook on emerging challenges for science (including technology and innovation) in changing societies, and related policy requirements, as well as the challenges for public policy in view of science-driven economic, societal, and cultural changes. In short, this book deals with science as a policy-triggered project as well as public policy as a science-driven venture.
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Chapter 24: Assessing the broader impacts of publicly funded research

Claire Donovan


The chapter introduces the reader to the notion of the broader societal impacts of research, and to recent trends in public policy towards prioritising research that produces direct benefits to society. It explores the ‘science–society’ relationship and the obligation of publicly funded researchers to engage in science that is relevant to society at large. It compares and contrasts top-down and bottom-up approaches to defining and measuring research impacts. Examples of different European approaches to impact assessment are presented (UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway). The chapter reveals the inherently political nature of defining, measuring and rewarding research impact, and what this form of science governance implies for future directions of state-funded research.

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