Prepare Scientists to Engage in Science-Policy

As part of the work around the science-policy training, we have been looking at what is needed to effectively prepare scientists to engage in science-policy. A commentary article was published in Earth’s Future in October outlining what we see as critical elements. A summary is provided below and you can find the article here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2020EF001628

There is a dire need for deeper science‐policy engagement to face recent developments such as entering into the Anthropocene and our dependence as a species on technological and scientific advancements. However, there is a lack of preparedness and training of scientists about what science‐policy engagement is and how to get involved. We present possible solutions to better train and prepare scientists to engage in science‐policy. (1) Frame science‐policy as a system. The framing of a science‐policy interface is misleading – the systems are already linked in myriad ways. A better framing is the science‐policy system, in which two processes, science and policy, are under the influence of each other. (2) Teach the science‐policy system. Scientists should have a basic understanding of what the science‐policy system is, and the implications that has for their research. (3) Engage in the science‐policy system. Make the research on science‐policy more readily accessible to the users and share experiences and lessons learned from those that have engaged in science‐policy to foster greater engagement. (4) Value engagement in the science‐policy system. Scientific institutions need to place greater value on science‐policy engagement by setting up structures, award systems, and incentives for scientists to engage science‐policy.