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The power of asking for evidence – Annie Howitt (Sense About Science)

November 21, 2023 @ 8:15 pm - 10:00 pm

Event poster

In a time of misinformation, purchasable blue ticks, and spurious claims to be ‘following the science’, how do we ask the right questions of information we find from social media, companies, and politicians? 61% of people think it’s important the government shows the public all the evidence used to make policy decisions. And yet, the sources of data used in policy making become more complex, modelling and big data being two key examples. But you don’t need to be an expert to ask the right questions. This talk will cover how to ask about the data behind the issues that matter to you, be that climate change or local healthcare policies. With examples of how people asking for evidence have made a real difference, we’ll show you how you can too.

About the speakers:

Annie is the Communities officer at the charity Sense about Science. During her PhD researching pancreatic cancer, she realised that so much of our understanding of cancer biology and treatments is inaccessible to the people it affects the most. That’s how she found Sense about Science, which works with researchers to equip the public, policymakers and media with good questions and insights into evidence, particularly on difficult issues. Recently, Sense about Science has published What Counts? (a scoping inquiry into how well the government’s evidence for covid-19 decisions served society), guides to understanding data science and AI. It also runs Evidence Week in Parliament at Westminster and in Holyrood, bringing together policy makers, researchers and the public, and, in partnership with the journal Nature, the John Maddox Prize for courageously advancing public discourse with sound science.

Tushita Bagga serves as a Policy and Campaigns Officer at Sense about Science, where she works on the upcoming Transparency of Evidence Standard campaign and is responsible for co-ordinating the annual Evidence Week event at UK Parliament. She recently completed her master’s degree in social policy research at the London School of Economics. Their previous work has focused on the role of ethics in academics interacting with marginalised communities and in news media representations of public health approaches to addressing the opioid epidemic. Tush is passionate about the accessible dissemination of social science research to the public and is driven to enable the masses to critically analyse complex policy concepts.

  • @senseaboutsci
  • Website: https://senseaboutscience.org
  • What Counts inquiry: https://senseaboutscience.org/what-counts/
  • Evidence Week: https://senseaboutscience.org/what-is-evidence-week/
  • Data Science guide: https://senseaboutscience.org/guides/data-science/
  • Guides: https://senseaboutscience.org/guides/
  • Evidence Week: https://senseaboutscience.org/what-is-evidence-week/
  • John Maddox Prize: https://senseaboutscience.org/john-maddox-prize/

This is event is free to attend, although we will be asking for donations at the end of the talk. Participants are under no obligation whatsoever to donate, however please rest assured that the money we collect doesn’t end up in anyone’s pocket – it is used to fund our overhead costs, and travel/accommodation for our speakers who come from further afield.

Accessibility: The Admiral Woods Bar now has a functioning lift which can take wheelchair users (or others who are unable to manage stairs) down to the function room. There is also a disabled toilet in the function room too. To help us accommodate you if you require to use these facilities we recommend you email us in advance: contact@glasgowskeptics.com


November 21, 2023
8:15 pm - 10:00 pm


The Admiral Woods Bar
29 Waterloo Street
Glasgow, G2 6BZ United Kingdom
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