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Advocacy and knowledge-exchange activities

The Society is currently undertaking a number of other activities relating to advocacy and knowledge-exchange:

UK human geography number 1 in the world: ESRC international benchmarking assessment

The Society Director, Dr Rita Gardner, acted as the chair of the steering committee of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) international benchmarking review of human geography. The group, in consultation with the UK human geography community, appointed an international panel of leading international experts, chaired by Professor David Ley, University of British Columbia, Canada. The panel made an independent assessment of the UK’s performance in human geography research, made key conclusions from and identified a number of recommendation with the final report, launched at the Society on 4 March 2013, states that UK human geography is world leading, ranking number one in the world. Read more in Research and Higher Education Policy 

Working group on expanding access

The Society Director, Dr Rita Gardner, was a member of an independent group established by Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science to examine how UK-funded research findings can be made more accessible. The "Finch Report" was published on 19 June 2012 More details. A new page has also been created within on Open Access and the geographical community. A 2-day workshop - Implementing 'Finch' - took place on 29-30 November 2012 organised by the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) and at which Dr Rita Gardner was a speaker. On 29.01.13 Society Director Dr Rita Gardner gave oral evidence (at 11.40.40) to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry into Open Access. The committee published their final report from this inquiry on 22.02.13.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) launched a call for evidence on Open Access on 25.02.13 with a deadline for submissions of 25 March 2013. This is ahead of a full and formal consultation later in 2013. On 6 March the Research Councils UK (RCUK) published their revised guidance on open access, with a deadline for further comments and input of 20 March 2013. 

Campaign for Social Science (CfSS)

The Society is supporting the Academy for Social Science (AcSS)'s Campaign for Social Science (CfSS). As part of this work the Society's Policy and Public Affairs Manager Dr Steven Toole spoke at their seminar (18 October 2012) on the Art of Political Influencing. Further details can be found in their campaign newsletter (PDF) (see page 5 for details) 

Quantitative methods (British Academy)

The Society has signed up to a joint-statement (PDF) with other learned societies and organisations in support of the position statement published by the British Academy in October 2012 - Society Counts - on the issue of a quantitative skills deficit in the humanities and social sciences and which outlined "the problem of a deficit, the need for quantitative methods, as well as the range of initiatives currently underway in order to meet this challenge." 

Geographers in government

The Society is using opportunities to highlight a recent report published by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (02 October 2012) which has shown that geography is amongst the most common disciplines by way of Government Social Research Service (GSR) members’ backgrounds. More details in our Geography Today briefing

Advisory group

A small number of geographers are part of an expert group informally advising the Society on how to continue to deliver and develop its policy work and facilitate knowledge transfer. As well as academic geographers, the group includes researchers from think-tanks and experts in government and multilateral agencies. If you would like to be involved in the work of this group please do get in touch (contact details below).

Working with others/contact us

We are always happy to hear from others with examples of where geographers are working in, or influencing, policy environments, including those which could be profiled as case studies in our Making the Case and Geography NOW series of briefings.

We are also always interested in hearing from others with suggestions for potential policy projects: including possible ideas for future Environment and Society Forum events or policy briefings.

To discuss further please contact us on +44(0)20 7519 3008 or policy@rgs.org

Page last updated 10.06.13

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