Educating (testing) the public

26 September 2012

A rarely explored function of think tanks relates to their education of the public -or the elites, at least. I am at CIPPEC for a week and today thought of an idea, inspired by a rather interesting and original ‘tradition’ here.

Every last Tuesday of the month, a programme presents its work to the rest of the staff (this is a great idea for internal communications, by the way). Today was the turn of the fiscal policy team. Before they started they provided a quiz: call it a short version of a pub quiz. The format made me think of the BBC’s Quiz of the week’s news.

Every week, the BBC publishes this short quiz to test our knowledge of the news of the week. Also relevant is its 10 things we didn’t know last week page.

Reading CIPPEC’s questions I thought how easy it would be to set up a weekly or monthly quiz. It could be maybe set up in Facebook to encourage competition between friends. Each answer would be a perfect opportunity to showcase the think tank’s research and the questions themselves could help signal the issues that are important; or should be.