First topic for our weekly discussion

The Chief Executive of Swale Borough council in Kent recently wrote a piece in the Guardian Leaders section that touches on a range of issues pertinent to our course including the role of evidence in decision-making, the nexus of technology, policy and public engagement and the tension between politics and rationality (often a major challenge for science and engineers wanting to engage in policy-making and the political process!).

What are your thoughts? There is even a claim that “we have lost our way in the volume of uninformed debates of 140 characters or fewer”.  When was this golden era of ‘informed debate’? Does Twitter necessarily dumb down the debate? how can these tensions be resolved? Are you optimistic? Pessimistic? Please do your best at engaging both on Twitter and here on the blog where you have the chance to expand on any thoughts in more detail (but in less than 140 words!)