The 10th annual Scottish Crucible programme for Scotland's most talented 'research leaders of the future' has commenced with media, policy and networking events hosted by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Crucible 'Policy Day' programme has shown that real opportunities exist in Scotland for researchers, from many different disciplines, to see their research have a wider impact via the policy arena.
Following the launch day at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which included presentations from Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research & Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, and Ken MacDonald, BBC Scotland's science correspondent, members of this year's Scottish Crucible cohort discussed how researchers can better contribute to public policy-making in Scotland and elsewhere.
During a day-long programme held at the Scottish Parliament and facilitated by Vivienne Parry, participants learnt more about the complexity of public policy development and how they can make a difference as sources of research expertise.
The event was an enormous success. It brought together the best of young research talent and exposed them to the challenge of making their science relevant to people and policy.
Professional insights came from a range of staff from SPICe (Scottish Parliament Information Centre) and the Scottish Government (Office of the Chief Researcher and Science Advice & Engagement Team). Prime examples of current policy impact by the academic community were also showcased by Dr Liz Ashton (Edinburgh Napier University), Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, and Dr Heather Morgan of the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen.
Dr Ruth Neiland, Scottish Crucible Director said, ”The Scottish Crucible 'Policy Day' programme has shown that real opportunities exist in Scotland for researchers, from many different disciplines, to see their research have a wider impact via the policy arena.
I hope that many more of the Scottish Crucible Alumni will be encouraged to engage with policy-makers in the future, thereby contributing to wider societal benefit through the application of their academic knowledge to policy-relevant issues.”
The Scottish Crucible 'Policy Day' culminated in a high-level expert panel comprising senior colleagues from Parliament, Government and Academia who shared their advice and experience with the Scottish Crucible participants.
The panellists were:
- Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician, Scottish Government
- Ken Hughes, Assistant Chief Executive, Scottish Parliament
- Ed Mackey, Information Management Senior Adviser, Scottish Natural Heritage
- Alastair Merrill, Vice Principal (Governance), University of St Andrews
- Prof. John Underhill, Chief Scientific Adviser, Heriot-Watt University
- Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Edinburgh
Commenting on the objectives of Scottish Crucible, Heriot-Watt University's Chief Scientist, Professor John Underhill said, “The event was an enormous success. It brought together the best of young research talent and exposed them to the challenge of making their science relevant to people and policy. It culminated in an opportunity to experience the intensity of giving evidence to a select committee in the Parliament Building itself, learning from those in positions of influence and building their own networks. It is a pleasure to support such an amazing event”.
For further information you can contact:
Scottish Crucible Directorate
Centre for Academic Leadership and Development
Email: ScottishCrucible@hw.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)131 451 3789