SCIENCE ADVICE FOR POLICY
BY EUROPEAN ACADEMIES

Full house at debate on evidence in policymaking

Representatives from SAPEA, the European Commission’s science advisors, and the Joint Research Centre yesterday addressed a packed room on how to ensure EU policy is informed by the best available evidence.

The SAPEA evidence review Making sense of science for policy under conditions of complexity and uncertainty, published this summer, provided the basis for the Chief Scientific Advisors’ own Scientific Opinion on how scientists and policymakers should interact at a European level. Evidence and recommendations from both documents will hit the desks of incoming European Commissioners this November.

There was a full house on the third day of the EU’s Research & Innovation event as Professors Ortwin Renn and Pearl Dykstra debated issues such as the role of evidence in democratic decision-making, the crisis of trust in expertise, and how to combat misinformation and fake news.

Professor Renn is chair of the working group that wrote the SAPEA evidence review report, while Pearl Dykstra is vice-chair of the Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors.

Alongside the SAPEA report and the Scientific Opinion, David Mair of the EU’s Joint Research Centre also presented Understanding our Political Nature: How to put knowledge and reason at the heart of political decision-making, a study which tackles issues of trust and misinformation in public debates.

Read the three reports here:

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Evidence-informed policy: a Norwegian perspective

A seminar assessing the findings of the SAPEA report ‘Making sense of science for policy’ was hosted by Academia Europaea Bergen Hub in collaboration with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The seminar, held on 4 November in Oslo, reflected on what insights of the report might be applied to the science advice process in Norway. The event was designed around two linked sessions, one focused on the European dimension of evidence-informed policy and the second examining Norwegian policymaking.

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