Published on 18 February 2022
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Sir Patrick Vallance to speak at Cambridge Public Policy Conference

The Bennett Institute’s Annual Public Policy Conference will explore public policy issues facing governments and populations today and in the future.

Amidst global plans for economic recovery, resilience, and prosperity, academics and policymakers will meet for the Bennett Institute for Public Policy Annual Conference on Friday 22 April 2022 at the University of Cambridge.

The day’s discussions will centre around the Institute’s four key research themes – Place, Progress, Productivity, and Decision-Making in Government. It will be an important platform for leading experts to share their knowledge and research across different disciplines – showing the value of interdisciplinary work.

Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance will deliver the keynote which will touch on the combined work of academics and policymakers throughout the pandemic.

Following the successful work on addressing regional inequalities, Professor Michael Kenny, Co-Director of the Bennett Institute will chair the first discussion on ‘place’. Guests including Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA and currently Permanent Secretary for the Levelling Up Taskforce at the Cabinet Office, Professor Francesca Gains, Co-Director of Policy@Manchester, and Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair of the National Audit Office, will debate the importance of ‘place’ for individual life opportunities and overall policymaking.

A new research theme at the Bennett Institute and indeed, the second Conference session led by Professor Dennis C. Grube, Co-Director of the Bennett Institute, will look at how political decisions are best made and communicated in a crisis. He’ll be joined by fellow Cambridge Professors Sarah Dillon, Department of Literature and the Public Humanities, Professor Dame Theresa Marteau, Behavioural Scientist and Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit, and Sir John Aston, Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life and former Chief Scientific Adviser at the Home Office. The pandemic and COP26 have highlighted the need to make nature and wellbeing count in economic statistics and decision-making.

Dr Matthew Agarwala, Project Lead for the Wealth Economy Project at the Bennett Institute, will chair the third debate on what ‘progress’ means in today’s context and how it can be measured. Guests including Professor Anna Alexandrova, Principal Investigator on the Expertise Under Pressure project at the Centre for Humanities and Social Change, Cambridge, Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment, University of Manchester, and Claire Melamed, CEO of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, will look at what measures are needed to reflect today’s economy and society – from tracking the digital economy and the impact of other new technologies, to understanding the distribution of opportunities.

For the final session on ‘Productivity’, Professor Diane Coyle, Co-Director of both the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and The Productivity Institute – Manchester, will talk to leading guests including Managing Director of The Productivity Institute, Professor Bart Van ArkMeredith Crowley, Professor of International Economics at the University of Cambridge, and Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Julia King, and about why productivity matters and how can it be improved.

Introduced by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge Professor Stephen ToopeSir Patrick Vallance, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser and National Technology Adviser. will deliver the keynote speech on the role of science and evidence in policymaking.

The Conference will run online and in person and will be recorded for people in different time zones to watch later.

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The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s).

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