Evidence Week: why scrutinising evidence matters

25 Jun 2018 - 28 Jun 2018, 12:30 - 18:00

Evidence Week runs from 25–28 July 2018 and brings together people from all walks of life to talk about why evidence matters.

We share insights into how parliamentarians seek and scrutinise evidence, and the role of the House of Commons Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) in supporting this work.

How to register for events

All events are held in Parliament. To attend an event, email hello@senseaboutscience.org or get in touch with your MP and ask them to bring you along.

You can find out more about Evidence Week and how to sign up to the events on the Sense about Science website.

Programme

Questioning quality – Monday 25 June

Evidence Week opening
12.30–1.30pm, Churchill Room, Palace of Westminster
UK community groups and organisations tell MPs and Peers why parliament's scrutiny of evidence on their behalf is vital.

Introduction to the evidence masterclass
2–3pm, Room S, Portcullis House
A taster of the Alliance for Useful Evidence's masterclass. Guided by a facilitator, learn how evidence can help us make smarter decisions and where to look for trustworthy and appropriate evidence.

Making informed decisions about health care
3–4pm, Room S, Portcullis House
Cochrane Fellow Dr Lynda Ware talks about how research evidence can help make informed decisions about health care including systematic reviews. She looks at newspaper headlines and suggests where to find reliable evidence-based medical advice.

Please RSVP to Katie.abbotts@cochrane.nhs.uk

Evening launch
7–8.30pm, Churchill Room, Palace of Westminster
In collaboration with UK community groups, Sense about Science, House of Commons Library, House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, POST, and SAGE Publishing launch Evidence Week. Sponsored by Norman Lamb MP.

Navigating data and statistics – Tuesday 26 June

Breakfast briefing
9–10am, Jubilee Room, Palace of Westminster
The UK Statistics Authority introduce the key questions parliamentarians can ask when faced with statistics.

Navigating data – using constituent examples
11am–12pm, Evidence Week Stand, Upper Waiting Hall
This workshop from the UK Statistics Authority, Office of National Statistics and the Royal Statistical Society explains where you can go to for the most accurate research and statistics. Learn how to interpret and understand the numbers behind the evidence.

Damned lies and statistics: Using stats in the media
2–3pm, Room S, Portcullis House
Statistics can be a powerful tool to communicate complex issues. They can also be spun to create misleading information or only tell half a story. This workshop, run by statisticians and communications staff from the House of Commons Library, looks at how to get the most out of Commons Library stats. Find out how to make an impact in the media without undermining the truth, and spot spinning and misuse of stats.

The 2021 Census: Opportunities, Challenges and Progress
1–3pm Macmillian Room, Portcullis House
With the Royal Statistical Society and Office of National Statistics.

Evidence in Social Science
5–6.30pm, Millbank House
A discussion on the provision of social science research with members of the House of Lords. Joint event with the Academy of Social Sciences, ESRC, the House of Lords Library and the British Academy.

Working out what's effective, in health and elsewhere – 27 June

Briefing
8.45–9.15am, Upper Waiting Hall
How do we know what works? We explore questions around health, from patients to doctors to policymakers.

Too much or not enough?
10.30am–12pm, Room Q, Portcullis House
What do we do when the evidence isn't there, or when it is overwhelming. A discussion with the Society for Applied Microbiology.

It ain't necessarily so… Simple stories can go wrong
1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, Upper Waiting Hall
In three minutes, find out how to break down data to clarify inequalities and the effect of interventions. Inequalities in educational attainment maintain and exacerbate other social inequalities. Explore evidence to challenge and create ideas – see what happens when attainment is broken down by sex, ethnicity, region…

Researchers from the University of Durham and Northumbria show how to understand problems before you try to solve them.

Wicked problems – 28 June

Wicked problems are those knotty, seemingly intractable problems that appear simple at a glance but are multi-faceted. Air pollution and homelessness for example.

How clean is your air, and what can we do about it?
10am–1pm, Upper Waiting Hall, Palace of Westminster
Join people from across the country to find out about the quality of air in your area.

A team from Kings College London and the universities of Manchester, Sussex, Imperial, Southampton and the wider university policy network talk through what readings mean, how that might affect local people and the challenges in proposed solutions.

Health inequalities
10am–12pm, Room Q, Portcullis House
Addressing the 'wicked' problem of health inequalities and how to reduce them with the Policy Research Units. A panel of world leading speakers discuss how understanding the challenges in children's health, including obesity and mental health, can help to make the right, evidence-based decisions to reduce inequalities.

How longitudinal research can help get to the heart of 'wicked problems'
2–4pm, Room Q, Portcullis House
Society today is facing multifactorial problems with no single cause and no simple solution. Longitudinal studies engage with the same people over time to help us understand people's complex lives.

Join CLOSER, the home of longitudinal research, and UCL Public Policy to hear from leading scientists about their world-class longitudinal studies. Find out how longitudinal research is helping to get to the heart of 'wicked' problems.

How can we tackle the homelessness crisis?
3–4.30pm, Attlee Suite, Portcullis House
POST brings together academia, policy, and the third sector to discuss work on homelessness.

Join experts from the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), Crisis, and the Social Market Foundation for a panel discussion on homelessness prevention.

Are we looking at what people need to know?
4.30–6pm, Attlee Suite, Portcullis House
Evidence Week closes with a roundtable to discuss 'are we looking at what people need to know?'. This includes issues such as homelessness with input from SAGE Publishing and Sense about Science.

Further information

The week is an initiative of Sense about Science, the House of Commons Library, POST, and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

It is in partnership with SAGE Publishing with events and briefings produced in collaboration with community organisations, research and regulatory bodies, including the Royal Statistical Society, Alliance for Useful Evidence, Institute for Government, UCL, CLOSER, Cochrane UK and the Society for Applied Microbiology.