An Unhealthy Scrutiny?

PSA Parliaments

Stephen Holden Bates, University of Birmingham discusses potential difficulties effecting scrutiny of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece considers problems that may arise due to Jeremy Hunt’s role on the Health and Social Care Select Committee.

Jeremy Hunt, in his role as the newly-elected chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, has featured prominently in the news since the outbreak of Covid-19. This is perhaps to be expected both because the core tasks of select committees include the scrutiny of government policy and departmental strategy and because the work of select committees has tended to become more prominent in the media over time.

Of course, the Jeremy Hunt who is the chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee is the same Jeremy Hunt who was Health Secretary between September 2012 and July 2018. During this record-breaking ministerial stint, Public…

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Why do UK universities have such large gender pay gaps?

By Fran Amery (University of Bath), Stephen Holden Bates (University of Birmingham), Stephen McKay (University of Lincoln), Cherry Miller (University of Tampere), Zoe Pflaeger Young (De Montfort University), Taylor Billings (University of Birmingham), Rebecca Hayton (University of Birmingham), Marianne Holt (University of Birmingham), Jasmine Khatri (University of Birmingham), Molly Marvin (Independent Scholar), Lola Ogunsanya (University of Birmingham), Alice Ramdehal (University of Birmingham) and Rosa-Louise Sullivan (University of Birmingham)[i].

The gender pay gap in academia is once again in the news, as universities start to release their gender pay gap reports for 2019.

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Why can’t some select committees get a female witness?

Blogpost originally published on PSA Parliaments’ site.

PSA Parliaments

In their nearly-eponymous 1995 hit, Reverend Black Grape, I’m a Celebrity runners-upandBargain Hunt cheats, Black Grape, asked ‘Can I get a witness?’ In 2019, why is it that some select committees seemingly find it difficult to get female witnesses to give evidence at their sessions? Some of the answer may well be found in the gendered make-up of the committees themselves.

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The Gender & Early Career Researcher REF Gaps

by Fran Amery, Stephen Bates and Steve McKay

Men in psychology, economics and biology are so good at research that 29-30% achieved 4* outputs in the last Research Exercise Framework (REF). Women in theology; anthropology & development studies; sociology; aeronautical, mechanical, chemical and manufacturing engineering; civil and construction engineering; agriculture, veterinary and food science (and men in art & design) are perhaps not so impressive: only 13-14% achieved 4* outputs in these units of assessment (UoA). Overall, 22% of men and 19% of women submitted to the REF produced 4* outputs. These apparent differences in purported research quality were highlighted in one of the supplementary reports accompanying the recent metrics review by HEFCE, The Metric Tide*.

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Do select committees deserve ‘universal praise’?

A blog post that Mark Goodwin and I wrote for the PSA Specialist Group on Parliaments and Legislatures.

PSA Parliaments

By Stephen Bates and Mark Goodwin

Rupert Murdoch being attacked with a custard pie. Michael Gove alleging a ‘Trot conspiracy’ in English schools. The vice president of Google being informed that ‘you do evil’. Three highlights of the last Parliament, all of which took place within hearings of House of Commons select committees. These cross-party groups of MPs have become an important site for the exercise of Parliament’s scrutiny function and have been regarded by some as arguably the most significant and successful recent innovation in the relationship between the UK government and its legislature. While these committees have limited legislative powers when viewed in comparison with committees in other parliaments, they have received ‘universal praise’ – according to the Wright Committee on Reform of the House – from media, academic analyses and from parliamentarians themselves. Since undergoing significant reform in 2010, select committees have gained a higher profile (see…

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Gender & the Research Excellence Framework: An Analysis of the Politics & International Studies Unit of Assessment (II)

by Fran Amery, Stephen Bates & Steve McKay

This is the second of two posts on gender and the Research Excellence Framework (you may also be interested in this post on what titles of outputs submitted to the Politics & International Studies Unit of Assessment tell us about (sub-)disciplinary trends).

In our first post, we used the REF submissions data in order to offer a new ‘survey’ of political scientists. We looked at the ratio of men to women across different universities, and with different levels of seniority. In this post, we focus more on the outcomes of the REF and, in particular, the association between the outcomes and the proportion of men and women in each submission.

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Gender & the Research Excellence Framework: An Analysis of the Politics & International Studies Unit of Assessment (I)

by Fran Amery, Stephen Bates & Steve McKay

Ever wondered about the gendered dimensions of the REF returns and rankings for the Politics & International Studies Unit of Assessment? Well wonder no longer.

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