Conference Themes and Topics

What counts as ‘evidence’ and whether we can ‘create impact’ are contested issues. This conference will aim to explore these debates.   Driven by the evidence-based practice and policy movement of the 1990s and the increasing rise of the ‘impact agenda’ (particularly in the UK), academics are constantly being challenged to demonstrate that their research can make a difference.  Practice and policy partners are similarly challenged to demonstrate that their decisions and activity are informed by the evidence base. 

Are these reasonable and achievable demands?   What do we know about how to do this well?  Does this challenge us to think differently about the role of research evidence and how we create that evidence in public health?

We welcome papers (symposium and posters) that address one or more of the following (although other topics that fit with the overall conference theme are also welcomed):

 1.       Practical examples of creating impact

    • Examples of research having ‘impact’ in public health that detail the process 
    • Creating, disseminating and mobilising evidence for maximum impact 
    • Barriers and facilitators to evidence use in public health


2.       Methodological and theoretical developments in creating useful and useable evidence

    • Exploring participatory approaches (e.g. co-production and embedded researchers)
    • Working across disciplines to make evidence useful (e.g. social sciences, arts & media)
    • Common metaphors and different ways of viewing the evidence production line and evidence consumption process


3.       Critical commentaries on the impact agenda

    • What is impact? Can it be measured?
    • Who and what influences impact?  (Knowledge users, creators, intermediaries, or those who create the preconditions for evidence use, and contextual factors)
    • Impact and change management
    • Linearity versus complexity in pursuing impact


4.       Other topics related to the conference theme