The role of national academies as sources of trustworthy information – inquiry response

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The expertise of Society’s Fellows is highlighted in our response to a Parliamentary enquiry on how to combat the spread of misinformation.

The House of Commons’ Digital Culture, Media and Sport Committee is exploring whether the public has ‘sufficient access to authoritative information on matters of national debate’.

The inquiry is looking at the role of national academies as sources of trustworthy information, as well as their capacity to engage with debates on the internet, which is an obvious location for spreading misinformation.

The Society provides evidence-based contributions to national debates. Our response to the inquiry’s consultation stresses the importance of our Fellowship as a source of independent expertise. Fellows help shape Society events and policy papers. They feed into our response to consultations and support evidence-gathering by Welsh and UK governments and legislatures.

Our consultation response notes:

‘The Society is valued for its independence and its position as a critical friend to government and the Higher Education sector in Wales. It has been recognised by the First Minister of Wales for its role in expanding the frontiers of knowledge in Wales, and for ensuring that Wales goes on “having a research informed society”.

However, our response also points out that the LSW does not have to capacity to act as a fact-checker, nor provide a directory of expertise.

“We’re pleased to have had the chance to point out how the Society’s Fellows are an important source of trusted information,” said Dr. Sarah Morse, the LSW’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager.

“We think, however, that the policy work we do could be better used as a resource by the media.

“An important part of our future development is to improve the visibility and reach of our work.”

Our response to the inquiry can be read in full here.