They take the complexity of academia, interpret / translate it for politicians and use it to help frame policies. They make complex issues more understandable.
This is a role that the media could adopt with more enthusiasm than it does. OK – newspapers sometimes call academics for a quote. Sometimes they will go to some lengths to explain a complex issue in a creative way. But they don’t do it enough.
Living in London but working all over Britain and Ireland. A left-leaning Labour Party member and blogger. I’m on twitter as @paul0evans1 and I blog mainly at the Local Democracy blog though I’m in lots of other places as well. I’m a massive fan of Google Reader – please follow me and share the better posts from your feed?