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A ban on state-funded academics using their work to question government policy Watch

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    (Original post by Josb)
    What is "lobbying" then?

    Organising a petition? Signing a petition? writing in the press? on a blog? making a conference? talking on TV? writing a comment on Facebook or Twitter?

    The law is very vague and could be a double edged sword
    It seems pretty clear to me. None of those things are prohibited unless they are being used to lobby a politician and it's being done with government funds. They are still free to do it on their own time, and it's entirely unclear why any academic research would need to involve lobbying state officials on policy matters?

    In the future, the Labour Party may win the elections again; I do hope that sensible academics will be able to fully lobby the government if they tried to pass a law - for example - banning Islamophobia. With this law, they would have to remain silent.
    And academics will be free to do that. This isn't banning them from lobbying the government, it's simply banning them from using grant money they received for the purposes of research to engage in political campaigns.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    I don't think the poilcy is how the OP described it. The decision prohibits academics from using government funds/grants to lobby the government.

    It doesn't prevent them from undertaking academic research that shows government policy to be wrong or misconceived

    No, that's exactly what I thought it was. And it doesn't make it any less disgraceful. It's banning academics from informing the government of any research evidence that contradicts governmental policy. One of the points of research is to contribute to society's development, blocking the voice of science is so damaging.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    It seems pretty clear to me. None of those things are prohibited unless they are being used to lobby a politician and it's being done with government funds. They are still free to do it on their own time, and it's entirely unclear why any academic research would need to involve lobbying state officials on policy matters?



    And academics will be free to do that. This isn't banning them from lobbying the government, it's simply banning them from using grant money they received for the purposes of research to engage in political campaigns.
    No no no. It's not that they can't use their government funded hours to lobby against a politician. It's that they can't use any results from research they conducted using government funding, to inform the government that a policy goes against the evidence in some way.
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    No, that's exactly what I thought it was. And it doesn't make it any less disgraceful. It's banning academics from informing the government of any research evidence that contradicts governmental policy
    You say that's exactly what you thought it was, but that's not what it is. The policy does not prohibit academics from doing research that contradicts government policy.

    It only prohibits them from lobbying the government using funds they got from research grants. The word lobbying is very clear in the rule
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    No no no. It's not that they can't use their government funded hours to lobby against a politician. It's that they can't use any results from research they conducted using government funding, to inform the government that a policy goes against the evidence in some way.
    I'm sorry but that's simply not true. The scope of the rule is very clear; it relates to prohibiting lobbying (the word lobbying is very clear) using state research grants, not prohibiting research that contradicts government policy
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    You say that's exactly what you thought it was, but that's not what it is. The policy does not prohibit academics from doing research that contradicts government policy.

    It only prohibits them from lobbying the government using funds they got from research grants. The word lobbying is very clear in the rule
    Perhaps you misread my post...

    I said they cannot use the results from their funded research to inform the government. Not once did I say that they aren't allowed to conduct such research, just they aren't allowed to use their research to inform public policy, which is what I believe, a major purpose of research.


    And anyway, they've backed down

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/...ing-scientists
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    I'm sorry but that's simply not true. The scope of the rule is very clear; it relates to prohibiting lobbying (the word lobbying is very clear) using state research grants, not prohibiting research that contradicts government policy

    You've still misread my post. How can you persistently misread it? Are you blind to the word "inform"??
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    Perhaps you misread my post...

    I said they cannot use the results from their funded research to inform the government.
    I know you said that. Are you thick? You're wrong to claim this prohibits them from doing that, they can do whatever they like with the results of their research. They just can't use funds granted to them for the research itself to then lobby the government to modify policy based on the conclusions of that research

    There's no point in messaging back again if you're just going to offer the same mewling answer that suggests you completely misunderstand what this rule does
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    I don't think the policy bans that.

    The policy says they can't use government funds to lobby the government or policy makers. I don't see that this new rule would prevent academics from holding conferences with each other, or prohibit them from any kind of research that would show government policy to be wrong/misconceived
    Have you read the clause that is (or rather was) given the government's clarification rather than the Guardian article. Set it out in full earlier in the posting

    Payments that support activity intended to influence or attempt to influence ....political parties
    It is inconceivable that no speaker invited to such a conference would express a view on the desirability of Labour being pro or anti Europe. The conference couldn't censor the speakers' papers. You simply can't hold the event with government money. It doesn't matter that the conference organisers express no view. Everyone at the conference must express no view. How, for example, could you invite Shirley Williams (who is a serious academic as well as a politician) , who was in the Cabinet at the time of the last Referendum to speak. She is bound to say something about how the present Labour Party should act.
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    (Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
    I know you said that. Are you thick? You're wrong to claim this prohibits them from doing that, they can do whatever they like with the results of their research. They just can't use funds granted to them for the research itself to then lobby the government to modify policy based on the conclusions of that research

    There's no point in messaging back again if you're just going to offer the same mewling answer that suggests you completely misunderstand what this rule does
    Looooooooool chill your beans man.

    They should be able to lobby the government to modify policy based on the conclusions of that research, otherwise that research is a complete waste of time and money. The money to do that needs to come from somewhere. I don't pay my taxes so the Tories can pick out research that backs up their policies and bury the rest.

    Regardless of what this technically does, it will effectively prevent government-funded researchers from using their research to change policy. The government is already on an anti-science rampage, the idea that they'll be able to control scientific discourse is horrifying.
 
 
 
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