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

Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 38)


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.


Policy Issue Policy Process Public Engagement Stakeholder Engagement Knowledge Brokering 



We wish to acknowledge the support of Environment Canada, the Canadian Water Network, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for sponsoring the invitational workshop on brokering knowledge for the environment, Sept. 17–20, 2007, L’Auberge du lac à la loutre, Huberdeau, Québec. Thanks go to the other workshop participants and in particular to Shealagh Pope, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, formerly with Environment Canada for her insightful comments on an earlier draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Overseas Development InstituteLondonUK

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