What Social Science Doesn’t Know

August 3, 2010

Interesting review of the epistomology of social science.  by Jim Manzi

“The experimental revolution is like a huge wave that has lost power as it has moved through topics of increasing complexity.”

Evidence-based policy

January 30, 2009

From a speech by Kevin Rudd:

A third element of the Government’s agenda for the public service is to ensure a robust, evidence-based policy making process.

Policy design and policy evaluation should be driven by analysis of all the available options, and not by ideology.

When preparing policy advice for the Government, I expect
departments to review relevant developments among State and Territory
governments and comparable nations overseas.

The Government will not adopt overseas models uncritically.

We’re interested in facts, not fads.

But whether it’s aged care, vocational education or disability
services, Australian policy development should be informed by the best
of overseas experience and analysis.

In fostering a culture of policy innovation, we should trial new
approaches and policy options through small-scale pilot studies.

It may be appropriate to collaborate with a State government, a
business organisation, a research centre or a community organisation.

It may even be appropriate to cooperate on policy innovation with a
government agency overseas, such as we are now doing on climate change
with the United Kingdom.

Policy innovation and evidence-based policy making is at the heart of being a reformist government.

Innovation can help us deliver better policy and better outcomes for the whole community.

This means that we want the culture of the APS to foster new ideas
and new directions – and not to let the narrow interests of particular
branches or agencies stand in the way of innovation.