New Trends in Earth-Science Outreach and Engagement

Volume 38 of the series Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research pp 83-92


Science Communication and the Tension Between Evidence-Based and Inclusive Features of Policy Making

  • Sarah MichaelsAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, University of Nebraska Email author 
  • , John HolmesAffiliated withDepartment of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford
  • , Louise ShaxsonAffiliated withOverseas Development Institute

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Communicating science in the public policy domain requires navigating the tension between two features of good practice in modern policy making: developing evidence based approaches and inclusive deliberative processes. Results of policy-making processes that have sought to maximize these different perspectives in parallel have been and will continue to be disappointing. Ensuring the “quality” of evidence and of supporting the integration of the different kinds of inputs in the decision-making process requires nimble and astute tension brokers who undertake knowledge brokering, reconcile different ways of knowing, and recognize when reconciliation is not achievable and/or not desirable.