How Academies can engage with policy: tips from the “Science-Policy Dialogue” EASAC project

When I was about to create this post, with yet another interesting link that I found, my eye fell immediately to my latest post entitled “How academics can engage with policy: 10 tips for a better conversation“. So I found it funny when I realised that this post is about a good practice guide in Dialogue between Academies and Policy Communities. The first was about academics and policy-makers, this one is about academies and policy-makers.

I am a bit confused about all the different associations of Academies worldwide. I am trying to understand what is the purpose of each one and what differentiates them. There is ICSU, there is the IAP, there is EASAC, there is Academia Europaea, etc, etc. I hope one day I will be able to find out what are the differences.

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How academics can engage with policy: 10 tips for a better conversation

How academics can engage with policy: 10 tips for a better conversation
Academics need to look at different ways they can communicate their research to policymakers, says Matthew Goodwin –here’s his advice on not wasting their time, or yours.

UPDATEExperts and experimental government [5/4/2013, GUARDIAN]

The idea of giving a clever man a desk in Whitehall is outdated, argues Geoff Mulgan in the third of our series on scientific advice. We need to take seriously the evidence about evidence

The forgotten sense of “science policy”

In the absence of a science policy textbook, I would like to ask the scholars of science policy to forgive me for doing an online search for its definition. In fact, I invite them to comment to this post with a more scholarly definition.

In the meantime I have found the following definitions of science policy online. According to wikipedia:

Science policy is an area of public policy concerned with the policies that affect the conduct of the science and research enterprise, including the funding of science, often in pursuance of other national policy goals such as technological innovation to promote commercial product development, weapons development, health care and environmental monitoring [SENSE 1]. Science policy also refers to the act of applying scientific knowledge and consensus to the development of public policies [SENSE 2].

A Royal Society of Chemistry report defines it as:

Science policy is quite a broad term, encompassing not only areas in which science can help achieve policy goals [SENSE 2], but also areas in which policy itself influences science, for instance funding [SENSE 1].

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Science Is Vital strikes again

Yesterday a letter was sent to The Telegraph by the Science Is Vital campaign.

This was accompanied by an article in the same newspaper “Spend more on science or fall behind G8” by Stephen Adams.

And another article was written in the Guardian “Science funding: time to reverse the decline” by three founders of the Science Is Vital campaign, Jenny Rohn, Stephen Curry and Richard P Grant.

Finally, see article on the campaign website for data.

Please also see a recent Guardian article “Does the UK need to spend more on basic research?” by Kieron Flanagan

Science and Society: step 1 is to set the question…

Why is there reaction to science-related issues in some countries, and in others not so much?

Having lived for almost a decade in a country where there were big reactions to science issues (MMR, GM, mad cow, etc), and having moved back to a country where the reactions are not so big – one could say non-existent – it makes me wonder why is this the case?

Of course it comes down to society, but why? What I mean is, of course there are big differences between the British and Greek societies, but which of these differences cause reaction in the former and not in the latter?

This question has been brewing in my mind for quite sometime now since it is different to communicate science to a society that is against it, than to a society that simply does not care. (A related question: why it does not care?)

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Skeptic Park: absolutely brilliant!

I haven’t posted about things I found amazing for a while. The truth is I can’t believe i just found this!

Can you believe there is a South Park for Science, Reason and Critical thinking?!? The blogger who made these amazing strips is Crispian Jago and his blogspot is: http://crispian-jago.blogspot.com/. Skeptic Park is absolutely brilliant as is of course his whole blog!!!!

EPISODE 1:

THE SCIENCE VOTE (#SCIVOTE) MOVEMENT: ORIGINS

[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?

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UK Election and #SciVote (1)

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.

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