Since 1 April 2018, a new project on impact has been pursued by CWTS, coordinated by Anne Beaulieu. The project has been the occasion to focus on a number of areas of activity at CWTS and to consider their impact. It has also spurred an institute-wide reflection on the meaning of impact and on the kinds of impact that CWTS wants to have and why.
A number of critical aspects already emerged at the initial kick-off meeting of the project: “impact” signals a particular view of the role of science and of the kinds of interactions (linear, unidirectional, aggressive) that it should have with other spheres. “Impact” also carries a very specific meaning in certain research lines at CWTS, evoking highly specific, technical terms (Impact factor, etc). These important qualifications feed reflections and discussions in the project.
With regards to institute-wide explorations of impact, a steering group consisting of Clara Calero Medina, Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Tung Tung Chan, Ludo Waltman, Zohreh Zahedi and Anne Beaulieu has been formed. The steering group has initiated interaction on models of impact in an informal way--via a graffiti wall in the kitchen, see photos-- using models from different spheres, among others:
- Felt et al 2016. Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research in Practice
- Jonkers et al (2018) A Regional Innovation Impact Assessment Framework for universities
- Community Organisation, United Way
Two moments are planned in the autumn to deepen the discussion, on 7 September and 12 October, and to feed the work of the steering group as it draws up recommendations for CWTS.
A series of workshops will also be offered to CWTS participants, to explore skills and approaches to impact. These will be occasions for experts to share insights and for some hands-on work, on the topics of
- Communicating with policy-makers
- Using social media (Twitter and LinkedIn)
- The role of platforms for academics (Academia, Google Scholar, Research Gate)
- Writing for blogs
Finally, two sub-projects will focus on renewing the formulation and presentation of contract research of CWTS BV and on identifying the key societal and policy debates to which CWTS can most meaningfully contribute. Questions and suggestions can be addressed to Anne Beaulieu.