Ban academics from talking to ministers? We should train them to do it!

March 7th, 2016 by Ben Goldacre in evidence based policy, politics | No Comments »

The Cabinet Office has come up with a crazy plan to ban academics like me from talking to politicians and civil servants. In this piece I explain why that is an almost surreally stupid idea. I also describe how I hustle, in Whitehall, to try and get government policy changed on open data, scientific transparency, and evidence based policy. Readers with a weaker constitution should be forewarned that this piece contains lurid descriptions of very positive experiences I have had with Oliver Letwin, and other popular right-wing hate figures. There is no apology for that, in the name of pragmatism and democracy: we should train academics to talk to ministers, and encourage them to do it.

(Sorry, I keep forgetting to post things on, this will change shortly, I have a big backlog of posts and will splurge over the next month or two!).