What works at the Nexus? A thought provoking seminar from Professor James Wilsdon


The CECAN team would like to extend thanks to Professor James Wilsdon from the University of Sheffield for his thought provoking discussions on 'What works at the Nexus' on 25th January 2017.

Drawing on insights from his role as director of the ESRC’s Nexus Network, and vice-chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), James Wilsdon reflected on how the landscape for transdisciplinary, policy-engaged research is changing, and what opportunities may emerge through the Global Challenges Research Fund, reforms to the Research Excellence Framework and the creation of UK Research and Innovation.

Watch the podcast of this seminar or download the slides.


CECAN Seminar: "Complexity, Power and Evidence in the UK Healthcare Sector: A Case Study of E-Health Research"


The CECAN team would like to extend thanks to Professor Trish Greenhalgh from the University of Oxford, who kindly dedicated her lunch hour to give us an energetic, thought provoking and highly logical seminar on evaluating e-health research.

Trish began by discussing what we mean by e-health research and that research of technologies that only focuses on 'technologies which will change the world', is aligned with a vague modernist vision, where technology is meant to solve many of society’s problems. Why? Because it does not consider the complex elements of peoples’ everyday lives.

Of course, e-health technologies have not changed the world, as highlighted by Tony Blair’s 'National Programme for IT'. This £12.8billion programme was meant to improve transparency, efficiency and accountability within the health service. It didn't happen and this became a paradigm case of inflated hopes and underestimated challenges in e-health.

CECAN Launches Policy & Practice Note Series


CECAN has launched a Policy and Practice Note Series, with e-versions available to download. These publications are iterative and a programme of further work is being undertaken for launch in 2017:

Qualitative Comparative Analysis: A Pragmatic Method for Evaluating Intervention - Professor David Byrne, Durham University (Lead)

Testing Contribution Claims With Bayesian Updating - Dr Barbara Befani, University of Surrey (Lead)

Agent Based Modelling for Evaluation - Helen Wilkinson, Risk Solutions (Lead)

Dependency Models - Dr Emma Uprichard, Warwick University (Lead)


CECAN Event 'Policy Evaluation For A Complex World' 13th September


CECAN's team were thrilled to host their official launch event at St Martin in the Fields Hall, London on September 13th. The event was introduced by Professor Jane Elliott (ESRC), closely followed by a keynote speech from Sir Mark Walport (GCSA), given to an extensive audience of Government policy analysts, academics, social researchers and business people.

An expert panel then discussed the question; "Is policy fit for a complex world?"

We were pleased to welcome Dr David Halpern (Behavioural Insights Team), Dame Margaret Hodge (MP), Dr Ulrike Hotopp (Simetrica) and Michael Kell (NAO), all wonderfully chaired by Dr Roger Highfield of The Science Museum.

The primary discussions were based around CECAN's mission of improving policy making for a complex world.

CECAN - funded and supported by the following organisations