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Lord McFall to speak at policy network launch

26 Oct 2012

The University is hosting a week of free events to launch Policy@Manchester, its network of academics working in a variety of public policy areas, from 29 October to 2 November.


The launch includes a lecture by former Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards Lord McFall.

The network was set up following a survey last year that identified around 350 academic colleagues across the University engaged in public policy dialogues at local, regional, national and international levels. It aims to bring the researchers together and also support others to develop their skills and experience in this area.

This will see the development of a comprehensive database of University experts and the creation of a web and social media presence to raise the profile of our policy professionals. In time, the focus will be on developing a coordinated programme of engagement and events with key policy makers at regional, national and international levels, to position the University as one of the leading public policy centres in the world.

Professor Keith Brown, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, is Chair of the Board, while Professor Colin Talbot, Professor in Government and Public Administration at Manchester Business School, is Director.

Professor Talbot said: “One of the things that distinguishes top universities around the world is that, certainly in democracies, they are usually power-houses of public policy ideas.

 “Manchester has recognised these developments and is trying something a little different. We surveyed staff last summer and found we had around 350 colleagues engaged externally in various areas of public policy.

“Manchester as a city has suddenly upped its profile, as Manchester City has joined United at the top of English football, and the arrival of “Media City” means there’s suddenly lots of media folk discovering there is intelligent life outside of the M25 ‘beltway’.

“Policy@Manchester will seek to capitalise on all that.”

The launch events include:

  • ‘Never Again: The Story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012’ by former FT Public Policy Editor Nicholas Timmins, on 30 October, 1.30-3pm, Jean McFarlane Building
  • ‘Adaptive Public Policy’ by the Financial Times’ ‘Undercover Economist’ and presenter of BBC R4’s "More or Less” Tim Harford, on 30 October, 7-8pm, Samuel Alexander Building
  •  ‘Parliament and the Banks’ by former Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards Lord McFall, on 31 October, 12-1pm, at the Samuel Alexander Building
  • ‘Putting more science into public policy’ by former Science Editor of the Times and Director of Communications at the Wellcome Trust Mark Henderson, on 31 October, 7-8pm, Samuel Alexander Building
  • ‘We need to talk about Growth’ a discussion by a panel of experts in a Question Time format on 1 Nov, 5-7pm, at Roscoe Lecture Theatre B. To submit a question in advance, please email with “Growth” in the subject line.

For full details of the launch see

To join the network, send an email to with the message "subscribe public-policy".