Sunday, 1 November 2009

Policy-based evidence making (or How Government is killing science with help from academics)

If I hear the phrase “evidence-based policy making” drop from the lips of a Labour minister or one of their bureaucratic lickspittles I shall scream. Labour came to power puffing this idea – and then ignored any evidence that got in the way of its mission.

But it’s worse – Labour’s academic apologists use bad research to support the Government’s case on education, on crime and on terrorism. Instead of a proper scientific enquiry these “researchers” use qualitative methods – mostly gathering the opinions of a few experts and presenting that as research – to arrive at “evidence”.

I completed a Master of Science degree that – had I so chosen – could have been gained without any quantitative analysis. (I hasten to add that I chose to do proper research).

This is not evidence it is opinion

The social sciences are dominated by innumerate people who even dream up cod intellectual justifications of their make-believe approach to enquiry. Nothing wrong with opinion guys - but it is not evidence.

So I am grateful for the Heresiarch coining the term:

Policy-based evidence making

It sums up everything wrong with the way we conduct government, train our future governors and sideline scientific enquiry.

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