What does it mean to be a 'critical friend'?

Online - Zoom link will be sent to you following registration
Thursday 19 May 2022 (14:00-15:30)
What does it mean to be a ‘critical friend’?

In the latest of the HSMC at 50 seminars, Dr Chris Q Smith examines the relationship between policymakers and research.

The term ‘critical friend’ is commonly used to describe the relationship between policymakers and researchers. It represents an attempt to reconcile a core ethical dilemma in academia between how much scholars can pursue knowledge for its own sake, while also making an impact in the ‘real world’ of policy and practice. In this talk, Dr Chris Q Smith will draw on the work of Max Weber - and his own experience working with HSMC - to explore the extent such a balance is possible, using HSMC’s reputation as a 'critical friend' of the healthcare community as a case study.

Throughout 2022, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham. This is 50 years of being one of the UK’s foremost centres for research and evaluation, teaching and professional development for health and social care organisations. 50 years of being a “critical friend” of the healthcare community and striving to bridge the gap between research and practice. 

About the Speaker:

Chris Q SmithDr Chris Q Smith is a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham with a long-standing relationship with HSMC. He first came to the department in 2012 to study a master’s degree as part of the NHS Management Training Scheme. He then returned in 2016 to undertake his PhD titled Moral Economy and the NHS: The Normative Dimension of Service Reconfiguration, which he completed in 2021. His primary interest is in using sociological theory to develop original insights into contemporary policy issues. His areas of expertise include the sociology of morality, classical social theory, qualitative fieldwork, and UK health policy.