Trustworthiness, credibility & integrity: the role of social science
I have a continued interest in thinking about what we do as social scientists - what does 'trustworthiness' mean when we can no longer talk about 'value-free' social science? How do we think about 'integrity' in social scientists' public role? What are the trade-offs that social scientists make in terms of values and credibility when they choose one path over another? I think this is a crucial area for researchers to think more about, so I teach aspects of this Masters students on the research methods course I set up (SO832) with Trude Sundberg at the University of Kent.
Having spent over a decade thinking about these issues, I finally had a chance to take this forward during a period of study leave in 2018. The first publication from this is now available in my publications list, looking empirically at whether social scientists do 'credibility work'.
There's still lots more to come from this though - initial thoughts from some of these ideas can be see in talks at the Social Policy Association conference in 2008 and 2009, titled 'Against evidence-based policy: over-claiming social research and undermining effective policy' and 'Should researchers make policy recommendations at all?' respectively; a presentation at a workshop in Edinburgh in June 2014; presentations at the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics in 2016-18; and presentations since then to philosophers in Durham, Cork, and Kent. The best starting place, though, is the Queens' Anniversary Prize lecture I gave at York in Feb 2014, available via YouTube. I'm planning to conduct future research in this area, and I'm always interested in speaking to potential collaborators on this too.