Simon Burall Profile picture
Facilitator, democracy, science innovation, #OpenGov: @InvolveUK, @Sciencewise, Council member @Nuffbioethics, @WWF_UK fellow. Learning to live with #MS
Oct 28, 2021 12 tweets 6 min read
1/ I'm sitting in on an @ifgevents live stream with @ICOnews's Elizabeth Denham… #IfGDenham

If there's something relevant from a public engagement perspective I'll add to this thread 2/ Some prepared remarks from ED first. The law worked best, she says, when the publics' views are put front and centre of any data use #IfGDenham
Jul 8, 2021 67 tweets 27 min read
1/ Looking forward to the launch of @GenomicsEngland's #newborndialogue report which starts in a few minutes. I'm going to be live tweeting. With over 1000 people signed up it's full, but you can follow along here 2/ The #newborndialogue was supported by @Sciencewise and you can find out more about the dialogue here…
Sep 22, 2020 72 tweets 26 min read
Sitting in on the "Science and Society, 20 years on: legacy and lessons for a post-Covid world" conference. I'll try to tweet key points that strike me, but not live tweet to avoid spamming you 1/ Kicking off is @jameswilsdon reminding us that the reason for the event is that we are twenty years on since the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee published its seminal report on Science and Society. And the issues in there are still live… 2/
Aug 24, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
1/ The question about whether and how we should open schools is real and live…

How do we balance the educational needs of children against
i. the health needs of teachers,
ii. the health needs of the wider population
iii. the wider economic impact? 2/ Whatever we decide will entail difficult choices which will affect different groups differently, in different ways and over very different timescales. At its starkest, the longer term education of our children vs short term economy?

What a choice, what an awful choice.
Aug 6, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
The Patch (@BBCRadio4) is a wimsical little programme set around the conceit of investigating a random postcode every episode 1/ The Patch just tackled homelessness in a time of Covid in London’s Square Mile… 2/
Jul 25, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
I share your sense of outrage at what is happening in Portland. But I think that to blame deliberative democracy is to misunderstand what democracy is 1/ 2/ Democracy isn't one thing. Here in the UK, through the 80s and 90s, those campaigning for greater democracy were focused on institutions: establishing a constitution, proportional representation, an elected House of Lords etc
Jul 9, 2020 14 tweets 3 min read
This episode of the @BertelsmannFdn How To Fix Democracy podcast series with Malcolm Rifkind is interesting for a couple of reasons, although I didn't find most of his insights particularly compelling (there are better episodes) 2/ Right at the start Rifkind is asked why he got into democratic politics. He says aged 15 he joined a school debating club and carried on through university
Jun 8, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
An important post (by @Reema__Patel and @AidanPeppin) at any time, but even more resonant given the global protests sparked by the death of George Floyd Making visible the invisible: what public engagement uncovers about privilege and power in data systems Lots of powerful quotes in the post, but one stood out for me... 2/
May 12, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
As digital tech becomes one of the vital tools for fighting COVID-19, @doteveryone's 2020 Digital Attitudes Report is going to be a must read. 1/ I haven't read it yet, but the headlines from the ES give a sense of why it'll be worth burrowing into 2/
Apr 27, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Here's the @InstituteGC on the technical solutions and options for dealing with COVID-19. It's a good round-up of the options, benefits and challenges. But... 1/ 2/ Any consideration of the options needs to look at tech and non-tech solutions to dealing with the crisis. It's only by understanding the pros and cons of all options we can make informed choices.
Apr 23, 2020 38 tweets 25 min read
I'm sitting in on the @demsoc @digidemlab Webinar exploring Digital tools for citizen participation. I'm going to do one of my mega-threads again. Feel free to mute for an hour!… 1/ #CitizenParticipation #DigitalDemocracy I'm sorry that I'm not sure whose speaking, it's Sanna but I joined late. The webinar comes during the current pandemic and localities and cities are starting to ask for support for engaging citizens online. 2/ #CitizenParticipation #DigitalDemocracy
Apr 17, 2020 24 tweets 19 min read
I'm sitting in on an @Nuffbioethics and @AdaLovelaceInst webinar on "Beyond the exit strategy: ethical uses of data-driven technology in the fight against COVID-19 Confirmation"

I'll try one of my live twitter threads. Feel free to mute me for the next 45 mins... First up is Linnet Taylor, Associate Professor, Tilburg Law School, Netherlands. She's noting that there's too much policy based evidence making on the use of tech in this area at the moment 2/ #COVID19 #ethics #coronavirus
Apr 8, 2020 11 tweets 3 min read
This is doing the rounds on my Twitter feed this morning. I can see why it’s an in-depth dissection of the U.K.’s approach to the coronavirus. 1/… It’s going to make uncomfortable reading for those in government.From my perspective there are a couple of things that stand out. 2/
Mar 31, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Almost the only advantage of being laid completely out with a bad back is that I get a chance to listen to documentaries. If you’re interested in #AI, #Automation and #Employment this @BBC_Analysis documentary is fascinating.… It looks at the problem from the angle of whether we can have too much leisure. It takes A view going back to the 1930s and charts three waves of anxiety about the prospect of too much leisure brought on by automation.
Dec 3, 2019 9 tweets 3 min read
Here's @RosemaryBechler in conversation with @Smith1966G on Citizens' Assemblies. When should they be used & when not? Why aren't they going to be the sliver bullet solving #Brexit? What sort of question can an Assembly meaningfully answer and what not?… 1/ 2/ I agree with almost everything @Smith1966G says....
Oct 26, 2019 27 tweets 15 min read
1/ it's the final session and final thread from me from

On the panel are: Bill Hurlbut (moderating), Jodi Halpern, @SJasanoff, Dianne Nicol, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Father Joseph Tham

#CrisprConsensus @SJasanoff 2/ First up is Jodi Halpern restates the question about which publics we need to engage with depends on the purpose of engagement. A hierarchy of engagement: #CrisprConsensus
Oct 26, 2019 31 tweets 27 min read
1/ this is thread 3 of #CrisprConsensus

This panel is on "Bringing in the Public: Platforms and Pathways for Public Engagement and Debate"

It's a panel in two parts. Part 1 feat @JulieShapiro, @JennyMerchant, Katie Hasson, @samira_kiani1, Kelly Ormond @JulieShapiro @JennyMerchant @samira_kiani1 2/ part 2 of the panel feat @JulieShapiro, Henrietta Hopkins from @HopkinsVanMil, Micheal Flaherty, @pembertonfilms, g_levrier and me, so I won't be live tweeting you'll be pleased to hear #CrisprConsensus
Oct 26, 2019 35 tweets 22 min read
Thread 2

1/ Next panel starting - looking at "Governance and its Gaps", involving Ben Hurlbut, Dana Carroll, Alta Charo, Dafna Feinholz, @laurencelwoff, Nora Schultz - sorry if I've missed twitter handles #CrisprConsensus @laurencelwoff 2/ We're being polled online on the questions "what are the most/ least useful forms of public engagement"

Sorry, not a good question, useful for what purpose? They all have their place? #CrisprConsensus
Oct 26, 2019 43 tweets 42 min read
1/ I'm at #CRISPRconsensus symposium all day. I'm afraid this means one of those live tweeting marathons. Feel free to mute me for 24 hours! It's being live streamed if you're interested, just register. Starting in 15 mins… CRISPR consensus conference... 2/ #CRISPRconsensus is going to start in about 5 minutes or so, lots of tech being wrangled right now. But you can watch the live stream here too by the look of it…
Sep 24, 2019 6 tweets 1 min read
Call me old but what possible metric could be used to identify the ‘best daters’? Image One metric would be that the quicker you find your soulmate and stop dating the you’d be better. But the how would the “research” distinguish between success and just giving up after one date?
Sep 18, 2019 10 tweets 5 min read
1/ Here's @GrahamLawton in @newscientist asking, if #Brexit makes us question #democracy, does #ClimateChange change do the same? 2/ to my mind this is a A. dangerous way of thinking and B. misunderstands what #democracy is.