Conall McDevitt

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Conall McDevitt is a Social Democratic and Labour Party MLA for South Belfast.

Geek Manifesto

In March 2013, on the day a Pledgebank-supported campaign sent copies of the Geek Manifesto book to all MLAs, Mr McDevitt appeared on BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster report on the book[1]. He said he hoped all his colleagues would read their copy, and that it challenged them not to set aside ideology but to challenge their own ideologies against the evidence base.

Accountability in Science and Evidence-Based Policy

In April 2013, in a debate on the formation of the Marine Management Organisation in the Assembly, Mr McDevitt commented (somewhat confusingly):

"There are two levels of accountability in science. The first is that science is science. It exists to challenge itself and continuously ask questions of itself. The first level of accountability needed in science and, therefore, in an evidence-based approach to policymaking is accountability in the body of experts itself. You need to have a capacity to review the work of someone who is informed in their work by their expertise and specialisms. You cannot expect lay people to peer review academic work. You cannot expect lay people to assess the strength and value of the academic contributions that our universities make to society. In fact, we deliberately do not do that. It would be reckless to do so, because we do not have the capacity."[2]



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