The role of scientific institutions in policymaking
Co-organized by SSS13
Convener: Chloe HillECSECS | Co-convener: Hazel Gibson

Science is a key component of the policymaking process as it allows decision-makers to consider the evidence and potential consequences of any action or inaction. The growing complexity of societal challenges, and the policies needed to deal with them, also means that more frequent and consistent interactions between scientists and policymakers is needed.

While individual scientists can (and definitely should) engage in formal and informal policymaking processes, it’s often more effective and efficient for institutions to communicate scientific information and to be available for follow-up questions when needed. Furthermore, by engaging with the policymaking process, institutions are both supporting evidence-informed decision-making and promoting the research of their scientists and potentially increasing its impact.

Knowing exactly when or how to engage with policymaking as a scientific institution can, however, be extremely challenging. It can be daunting for a scientific organisation of any size to select a policy area to focus on, gather enough information to understand who the relevant stakeholders are, and know what information is most relevant and how to best communicate it!

This Short Course will outline some of the steps that scientific institutions and organisations can take to start engaging in the policymaking process. It will highlight some of the methods used by other scientific organisations as well as the role that individual scientists can play within their own institutions.