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Publication - Dr James Palmer

    Perfecting the 'Elevator Pitch'? Expert advice as locally-situated boundary work


    Palmer, J, Owens, S & Doubleday, R, 2019, ‘Perfecting the 'Elevator Pitch'? Expert advice as locally-situated boundary work’. Science and Public Policy, vol 46., pp. 244-253


    Conventional accounts of expert authority frequently over-simplify relations between science and politics, and presume the existence of a singular ‘interface’ between these domains. In contrast, this article draws on semi-structured interviews to document how the authority of UK Chief Scientific Advisers emerges from their engagement in the construction and bridging of several distinct but interrelated boundaries. Building on co-productionist accounts of science–policy interactions, the paper moreover contends that these various boundaries are themselves constituted within place-specific contexts. The locally-situated, material conditions of advice-giving, in short, fundamentally shape the hybridisation and mutual alignment of science and politics around specific governance objectives. Further analytical work on expert advisory processes and expert authority should, we contend, be more closely attuned to the roles played by discursive, social, and material factors in facilitating boundary bridging and co-production in practice.

    Full details in the University publications repository