Making sense of science for policy under conditions of complexity and uncertainty
Now more than ever, policymakers need good quality science advice to inform their decisions, and the very policy issues for which scientific input is most needed are the ones where the science itself is often complex and uncertain.
What the report says
The report highlights the fact that many of the world's most pressing problems are also incredibly complex -- including climate change, environmental pollution, economic crises and the digital transformation of societies. What’s more, the scientific knowledge around these areas can often be uncertain or contested.
Science is one of many sources of knowledge that inform policy. Its unique strength is that it is based on rigorous enquiry, continuous analysis and debate, providing a set of evidence that can be respected as valid, relevant and reliable.
Science advice supports effective policymaking by providing the best available knowledge, which can then be used to understand a specific problem, generate and evaluate policy options and monitor results of policy implementation. It also provides meaning to the discussion around critical topics within society. The advice works best when it is guided by the ideal of co-creation of knowledge and policy options between scientists and policymakers.
The relationship between science advisers and policymakers relies on building mutual trust, where both scientists and policymakers are honest about their values and goals.
Scientific knowledge should always inform societal debate and decision-making. Citizens often have their own experiences of the policy issue under consideration and should be included in the ongoing process of deliberation between scientists, policymakers and the public.
The report was discussed in the panel debate Making sense of science. Read more
Electrotechnics and Power Engineering - Section meeting
ATEE is the forum that stimulates active and effective exchange of information between researchers in various areas of theoretical and applied electrical engineering. The working group and the process of writing the report was briefly presented. Read more
Welsh Policy and Politics in Unprecedented Times
A poster was presented at this event that brought together academics at all stages of their career as well as representatives from Welsh Government and civil society to discuss these questions, current and future practices, and opportunities for Welsh policy and politics. Read more
Policy Skills Workshop
A one-day workshop exploring how to collaborate with policy institutions as an academic; communicate research effectively to policy makers; transition from academia to a policy career. The upcoming report was shortly presented. Read more
Shaping Horizons 2019
Shaping Horizons was the first international summit and action programme on science, policy and innovation for a changing world, gathering 150 young leaders from across the UK and Latin America to engage with senior world leaders and ignite change. The report was presented in a session on evidence-based policy. Read more
European Research & Innovation Days
Our report was discussed during a panel debate at the European Research and Innovation Days. The main findings of the report were presented by the chair of the SAPEA working group Ortwin Renn. Read more
Making sense of science event in Oslo
SAPEA, Academia Europaea’s Bergen Knowledge Hub and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters hosted an event focusing on our recent report on science advice for policy. The event will take place on 4 November 2019 in Oslo, Norway. Read more
The future of science advice in Europe
The event was organised in the context of the Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU, and the developing plans by Finland to create a new science advice mechanism for the country. It included a workshop based on the report. Read more
Znanost sreca parlament 2019
Our report was extensively discussed at a Slovenian government event co-organised by the European Commission.
Making Sense of Science for Policy; panel discussion at University of Cambridge
A panel from SAPEA will discuss the recent report addressing the question of how to provide good science advice to policymakers. Read more
Royal Irish Academy Workshop on ‘Making Sense of Science for Policy under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty’
This Royal Irish Academy workshop, which will hear from high-level experts, will discuss the findings of the report and reflect on what insights might be applied to science advice in Ireland. The discussion paper following the event is available on-line. Read more
Science advice: what works in a crisis?
In this 90-minute webinar, chief science advisors, experts and staff of the European Commission reflected on how effectively Europe is rising to the challenge and what lessons can be learned for the future. They shared practical experiences of giving science advice in the face of unprecedented complexity, uncertainty and public visibility during the outbreak; as well as how best to apply science advice frameworks and practices to secure greater resilience in the aftermath of Covid-19. Read more
Digital media in crisis situations: rethinking their role and function
Professor Ortwin Renn, the Chair of the SAPEA Working Group on Making Sense of Science for Policy will be one of the speakers at this webinar on 1 March. Read more
Research integrity: how can we support and protect early-career researchers in cases of scientific misconduct?
Professor Nils-Eric Sahlin MAE, Member of the SAPEA Working Group on Making Sense of Science for Policy will speak during this webinar on 22 March. Read more
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 737432. The information and opinions on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission. The SAPEA Consortium is not responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained in this website by anyone, including European Union institutions and bodies or any person acting on their behalf.
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