From a Q&A with author and academic Danny Dorling:
Are politicians any more interested in listening to academics than to members of the public? And is your time as an academic well spent in engaging with and advising politicians?
Politicians are normally exhausted. They do a very good job of appearing interested, but most are tired when they talk to you. They try to do too much and they are often workaholics. They are usually very committed people who also quite like being in the limelight – and some are driven by liking that attention a little too much for the good of the rest of us. But my overall impression of politicians is that they really would like to be remembered for having done a good job, if not a brilliant job, and so they do listen because they do not want to make mistakes. And they do often dream of being one of that tiny minority of politicians whose names are still remembered after they have died – not for some scandal, but for being on the right side of history. I suspect a few dream of having a statue made in their likeness.