Working with members of the public in research has come a long way in the last decade or so, and will continue to evolve. It is increasingly undertaken across research, including by universities, research charities and funders, to ensure that research, and discussions affecting research, are ethical and take into account lived experience. And at RDS, we know public engagement is important. Our strategy shows our commitment to robust and systematic public engagement. We are keen to ensure we are transparent and that people can trust the use of data in research.
It is critical we work with the public and other groups, to understand how people wish their data to be used and that they can see the benefits from research but also understand the risks and robust measures in place. Public involvement and engagement makes our work better and ensures there is transparency about the use of data in research for public good. There is a real risk if we don’t do this that people will not fully appreciate how data in used in research.
We know that there are activities already being undertaken by organisations, such as ADR UK (Administrative Data Research UK), SCADR (the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research), which is part of ADR UK, and HDR UK (Health Data Research UK). The recent ADR UK Dialogue exploring perceptions of using of data for research and statistics for the “public good”, is a great example of where public engagement can provide insights to inform approaches and better communicate what we do.