Nick Allum, PhD
Professor of Research Methodology
University of Essex
My research interests are in public understanding of science, risk perception and trust. I am primarily a survey researcher and I do research in survey methodology too. I am also beginning to do research on scientists, academics and research integrity.
Most of my teaching is in research methods and statistics. I accept PhD students working in any of these areas or indeed any other area of quantitative social science that you can get me interested in. I am also available for consultancy work that aligns with my areas of expertise.
Google scholar profile
Selected current research
Practices, Perceptions, and Patterns of Research Integrity (PRINT).
A ‘crisis in science’ has been proclaimed and although the litany of problems is attracting considerable attention, their scope and causes are unclear. Is there really a ‘crisis’ in experimental physics, and if so, is it comparable to the one claimed for, e.g., social psychology? Individual cases of obvious misconduct, i.e., Fabrication, Falsification, and Plagiarism (FFP) capture much public attention. However, such cases are relatively rare, and the damaging consequences of so-called questionable research practices (QRPs) for the quality and trustworthiness of science-based knowledge may be much more severe with potentially high societal costs. The prevalence of QRPs as well as the interpretation of their importance are likely to be field specific, dependent on the discrete epistemic cultures in which they emerge. Their prevalence could also be associated with institutional and national differences, including amplifiers related to governance structures such as performance assessment schemes. While phenomena such as publication pressures and hyper-competition are potential causal factors, the current evidence is, at best, scanty. This research project PRINT targets these gaps in our knowledge gathering qualitative and quantitative evidence about QRPs in European science. The project is funded by the Danish Government and led by Aarhus University.
Social inequalities and public understanding of science
This is a loose collaboration with researchers in the USA and UK and includes an Essex funded PhD scholarship, awarded to Kiril Makarov, and based in the Sociology Department. The focus is on understanding how dimensions of inequality based on race, ethnicity and socioeconomic variables are associated with attitudes beliefs and knowledge about science and technology.