Science for Policy podcast

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How far should we rely on science to make political decisions? What makes a good science advisor -- or a good science advice system? What do we do when the evidence is incomplete or controversial? What happens when science advice goes wrong and how can we fix it?

The Science for Policy podcast, produced by SAPEA, explores these questions and many more in conversation with the politicians, policymakers, academics and science communicators who make science advice happen around the world.


We warmly welcome feedback on the podcast, including:

  • responses and reactions to the subjects discussed
  • nominations (including self-nominations) for future guests
  • proposals for future topics

The Science for Policy podcast is produced by SAPEA, but the varied and interesting opinions expressed by our guests are those of the guests themselves, and don't necessarily represent the views of SAPEA or the European Commission.

If you have been invited to appear on the podcast, you can find more information on our page of advice for guests.

Recent episodes

Becca Shellock and Mark Dickey-Collas on gaining, losing and repairing trust
Becca Shellock is a researcher with Australian National University; Mark Dickey-Collas is a science advisor at ICES.
Mario Giampietro and Roger Strand on confronting uncomfortable knowledge
Mario Giampietro and Roger Strand were co-investigators on the MAGIC project, investigating how policymaking deals with complexity.
Heather Douglas on how values shape science advice
Heather Douglas is a professor of philosophy at Michigan State University and board member of the Peritia project on trust in science.
Michel Claessens on science, policy and Covid-19
Michel Claessens is the author of 'The Science and Politics of Covid-19'.
Thea Snow and Adrian Brown on different sources of knowledge for policy
Thea Snow is Director for Australia & New Zealand at Centre for Public Impact and Adrian Brown is Executive Director at the same organisation.
Leire Rincón on evidence, ideas, and the race for political attention
Leire Rincón is a doctor of Political Sciences at University of Barcelona
Jennifer Clapp, Canada Research Chair at the University of Waterloo
Jennifer Clapp is a member of the High-Level Panel of Experts of the UN Committee on World Food Security
Who's afraid of epistemic diversity?
In this special episode, twelve scholars of science advice discuss the challenges of incorporating a radically diverse range of perspectives into a science advice process.
Kristian Krieger and Stijn Verleyen, European Commission
Kristian Krieger and Stijn Verleyen work at the Joint Research Centre in the European Commission.
Piotr Magnuszewski and Nicole Arbour
Piotr Magnuszewski is a game designer and Nicole Arbour is a science-policy specialist.
Sierd Cloetingh on science and European integration
Sierd Cloetingh is President of Academia Europaea
Caroline Wagner, Professor at Ohio State University
Caroline Wagner is an American academic and author specialising in public policy related to science, technology, and innovation.
Leonie Tanczer of University College London, and her two former students: María Jarquín and Natasha Boyd
Dr Leonie Tanczer is a Lecturer in International Security and Emerging Technologies at University College London and the designer of a science advice course.
Adriana Bankson, chief executive of Journal of Science Policy & Governance
Adriana Bankston is a principal legislative analyst for the University of California and the chief executive of the Journal of Science Policy & Governance.
David Budtz Pedersen, Professor at Aalborg University in Copenhagen
David Budtz Pedersen is a Professor of Science, Policy and Information Studies.
Pia Kinhult, Head of Host States Relations at the the European Spallation Source
Pia Kinhult is a Head of Host States Relations at the ESS and a former politician in Sweden.
Christina Moberg, President of the European Academies Science Advisory Council
Christina Moberg is a Professor emeritus organic chemistry and a President of EASAC.
Risto Nieminen and Jaakko Kuosmanen of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters
Risto Nieminen was a President of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and Jaakko Kuosmanen is a Secretary of the Academy.
Jan Marco Müller, Science Advisor for the European External Action Service
Jan Marco Müller is a Science & Technology Advisor at the European External Action Service (EEAS).
George Griffin, President of FEAM
George Griffin is an Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases and Medicine at St George’s, University of London and Board Member of Public Health England
Natasha Gardiner, Antarctic researcher
Natasha Gardiner is an Antarctic researcher at University of Canterbury
Roger Pielke Jr, Professor at University of Colorado
Roger Pielke Jr is is an American political scientist and author of "The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics."
Tracey Brown, Director of Sense about Science
Tracey Brown is a Director of Sense about Science charity.
Frederick Fenter and Stephan Kuster, Frontiers journals
Frederick Fenter is a Chief Executive Editor of Frontiers and Stephan Kuster is a Head of Institutional Relations at Frontiers.
Pieter Duisenberg, Joost Sneller & Dr Liesbeth Hulst, Dutch science advice specialists
Pieter Duisenberg is a President of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, Joost Sneller is a Member of the Dutch Parliament and Dr Liesbeth Hulst works at University of Utrecht.
Paul Nurse, Peter Piot and Christiane Woopen, senior EU science advisors
Sir Paul Nurse is deputy chair of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. Baron Peter Piot is special advisor on COVID-19 to the President of the European Commission. Professor Christiane Woopen is chair of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies.
Miriam Frankel, The Conversation science editor
Miriam Frankel is science editor for The Conversation.
Florian Süssenguth, Germany's innovation dialogue
Florian Süssenguth is head of office for Chancellor Merkel's innovation dialogue.
Erin Macdonald, Star Trek science advisor
Dr Erin Macdonald is science advisor to the Star Trek franchise.
Antonio Loprieno, president of ALLEA
Antonio Loprieno is President of Jacobs University Bremen, and of ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.
Cathrine Holst, lead researcher for PERITIA
Cathrine Holst is a professor at the University of Oslo, and a lead researcher in the EU's Peritia project on trust in expertise.
Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP, former science advisor to the President of the European Commission
Maria da Graça Carvalho is an MEP, formerly the science minister of Portugal and senior science advisor to the President of the European Commission.
Cary Funk, science and society director at Pew Research Center
Cary Funk is the director of science and society research at Pew Research in Washington DC.
Clarissa Rios Rojas, catastrophic risk researcher
Clarissa Rios Rojas is a research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge.
Mark Walport, former UK chief scientist
Mark Walport is a member of the SAGE committee, and former chief scientific advisor to the UK.
Vladimír Šucha & Marta Sienkiewicz, editors of the Science for Policy Handbook
Vladimír Šucha and Marta Sienkiewicz are editors of the Joint Research Centre’s new science advice handbook.
Bart Koelmans, UN and EU microplastics advisor
Bart Koelmans has chaired advisory groups on microplastics pollution for the UN and EU.
Rolf Heuer & Pearl Dykstra, European Commission Chief Scientific Advisors
Rolf Heuer and Pearl Dykstra are respectively the chair and deputy chair of the European Commission's Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.
Peter Gluckman, president of the International Network for Government Science Advice
Peter Gluckman is the chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice, and a former chief science advisor to New Zealand.

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