Science advice is critical to democracy and our way of life#

Optimising the relationship between scientists and policymakers, publishing a code of good practice on science advice and involving stakeholders more effectively are all ways of strengthening science advice for policy, according to the panel at a European Commission meeting in Brussels on 26th September.

Panel discussion on science for policy#

Three recently-published reports on science advice were the focal point for the panel discussion, part of the Policy Conference at the European Research and Innovation Days (24th-26th September).

The three reports are presented to the public. Left to right: Dr Piotr Kwiecinski, Louise Edwards, Professor Pearl Dykstra, Professor Ortwin Renn, Dr David Mair, and Professor Sierd Cloetingh


The reports were presented by Professor Pearl Dykstra (Deputy Chair, Group of Chief Scientific Advisors), Professor Ortwin Renn (SAPEA Working Group Chair) and Dr David Mair (Head of Unit, Joint Research Council).

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Academia Europaea (AE) President, Professor Sierd Cloetingh, and Louise Edwards, Cardiff Hub Manager, represented SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) at the panel discussion.

AE is the Lead Academy for the Making Sense of Science for Policy evidence review, conducted by SAPEA to inform the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors’ Scientific Opinion.

The three reports:





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Full house at debate on evidence in policymaking
Science Advice for Policy by European Academies#


Source: SAPEA

Representatives from SAPEA, the European Commission’s science advisors, and the Joint Research Centre addressed a packed room on how to ensure EU policy is informed by the best available evidence (26 September).

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 Dykstrais 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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