Is policy advocacy a dirty word for researchers?

Researchers generate new data and evidence; advocates persuasively use that evidence to advocate for policy changes. But can and should researchers also be policy advocates? There appears to be much ambivalence about this idea: on the one hand it is seen as essential that researchers are advocates; on the other it is seen as politicising and propaganda. In this seminar I will explore the role of ‘researcher as advocate’ on issues concerned with illicit drugs policy, reflecting on the literature as well as my own experience. The diversity of views, alongside strengths and challenges of a ‘researcher as advocate’ will be covered.

Professor Alison Ritter is an internationally recognised drug policy scholar and the Director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre. She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow leading a multi-disciplinary program of research on drug policy. The goal of the work is to advance drug policy through improving the evidence-base, translating research and studying policy processes.

Please note this seminar is only available online.

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