This booklet aims to help NERC staff and NERC-funded scientists to:
– recognise the relevance of their science to policymakers and engage with science-to-policy activities from the outset;
– Identify opportunities, routes and best practice to inform policy-making, including opportunities to feed into NERC’s corporate science-to-policy activities;
– communicate science in an appropriate and accessible way, to the right policy-makers, showing how it fits their needs.
We have used case studies to illustrate the different approaches described, and drawn out reasons for success, where appropriate, as learning points.
Beautiful booklet by UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) advising how scientists can help shape public policy.
[Over the last 3 weeks I have been following very closely what was happening before, during and after the recent UK elections but from a scientist’s point of view. I copy-pasted every article I could find into Word documents. In the end, these Word documents were more than 300 pages long. I also read all of them and I have been following the twitter discussions as well. Finally, I wrote the following article for a major Greek newspaper (for those of you who understand Greek and this will not all “sound Greek to you” the weblink for the Το κίνημα “Ψήφος στην επιστήμη” paper is http://www.vimaideon.gr). This is my attempt to translate it. I am saying attempt because the language centre of my brain does not understand anymore which are Greek expressions and which English. I would really appreciate it if any of the people that were actually part of this movement could tell me which points I’ve understood wrongly: a third-party always sees things differently and a lot of times not correctly. I can think of many points that might be wrong or annoy people.]
THE SCIENCE VOTE (#SCIVOTE) MOVEMENT: ORIGINS
The Lisbon Treaty and then European Strategy for 2020 stressed, ambitiously perhaps, the importance of long term investment in knowledge – produced through science and technology – as the only way of exiting from the financial crisis. Politicians in every corner of Europe (and beyond) indicate that the goal of modern society should be a knowledge-based economy.Nevertheless – whereas the U.S.A., China and India increased their funding for science – Great Britain and other European countries in their general panic to reduce public deficit and debt, announced cuts in public investment in science and technology. In other words, although governments recognize the importance of these investments, they do not apply them. In this way they are risking the future of their country, since a reduction in funding today will lead to future lack of scientific expertise needed to boost economic growth.[businesses seem to agree already on this]
Many British people noticed this paradox during the recent election campaign and their disagreement resulted in the “Science Vote” movement or «#scivote» if one is to use twitter terminology. But what is this movement? What were its aims? Did it succeed in British elections? What is its significance for Greece?
Just because I am a geek, I decided to do a little exercise of my ownm even before we even knew what the government in the UK will be. I tried to find out how many scientists were in the new Parliament!
First of all for “after-election” articles related to science vote from people that actually know about this topic please click here , here and here.
What I did is that I took the list of MPs published in the Eureka Zone Times paper by Mark Henderson last week. Given this list, I added next to each constituency the candidate that won. For those for whom there was information on science background in THAT list I kept this information.
You can find both the original list and the “after election” list here.
Two days ago (Tuesday 9th March 2010) a debate on Science was organised in the UK, using as an incentive the General Election of 2010. Since this debate was broadcast live – for the first time in the history of the House of Commons – the whole world (including me) had the chance to follow the debate.
The debate was organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry on behalf of the science and engineering community (Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Institute of Physics, Society of Biology, Geological Society, Royal Astronomical Society, the Science Council and the Campaign for Science & Engineering, etc).
Three politicians took part in the debate:
- Adam Afriyie MP Conservative Party – Shadow Minister for Innovation and Science
- Lord Drayson Labour Party – Minister of State for Science and Innovation
- Dr Evan Harris MP Liberal Democratic Party – Spokesperson for Science & Technology
The link to watch this debate is at:
I know that it would give more meaning to this post if I gave my views, but I am not ready yet. Anyway I need to read first the documents produced recently on the future of science in the UK. And that is one of the things I will do next. Hopefully one day I will be able to come back to this.