IMPRINTS strike in Westminster

24 06 2014

We had two important impact events for our research about identity management this month. First, the impact champion of the Global Uncertainties Program, dr T ristram Riley-Smith, invited us to present our research outcomes to a mixed group of civil servants, consultants and researchers. We used the RUSI venue at Whitehall in London, About 80 people signed up and we had a nice mix of central presentations, breakout sessions and a policy discussion. Since this was a policy community mainly, one of the things that struck interest was the difference between IM discourse in the UK (all about security) and that in continental Europe (all about service to citizens).

That same discussion went down well with the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons, which is in the middle of a n inquire about Social Media and Real Time Analytics. On the basis of the written evidence we provided (see blog post of April 4), we were invited to come to the House on June 23, and discuss our data. With other researchers and the director of Big Brother Watch we were asked about trust in government, whether corporations can be trusted with personal data, and what kind of legislation is necessary for using social media data. Apart from going astray a bit on the issue of vaccination against cervical cancer for which I couldn’t find the words either (what was I thinking?), it went well, and I made all the points I had prepared. The whole thing was streamed live, and can be watched again here (from 1.07):

Evidence S&T Committee

I am particularly happy that we have been able to do stuff like this now that the project is coming to an end; very much required in modern academia, although  I do think it only counts as ‘real ‘ impact if we can demonstrate that key stakeholders changed their minds and policies as a result of our research.




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