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Thursday, November 2 • 10:30 - 12:00
325 – Scientists as conveners and ambassadors for facts? Evidence co-creation for a hyper-complex post-fact politics/ Les scientifiques comme facilitateurs et ambassadeurs des faits? Co-création de la preuve pour une politique post-factuelle hypercomplexe

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Panel Organizer: Milena Raykovska, European Commission, Joint Research Centre

A world of a super-abundance of knowledge from sources of variable quality, where complexity has increased exponentially, trust in authorities has diminished and "post-fact" politics appears to be on the rise, creates new challenges for policymakers and scientists who strive towards evidence-informed policies.
The new profession of science advisors requires scientist to be deeply familiar with knowledge at the intersection of policy, democracy and science. To have a policy impact, science advisors need to have the “ability to provide scientific advice in support of policy decisions…effectively addressing the limits of science, the insufficiency of evidence, and appropriately framing uncertainties.”
The session will explore the role of scientists wishing to influence policy in today's climate of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The session will debate a number of questions, some of which brilliantly outlined by Naomi Oreskes (Harvard University), on the calling and responsibilities of scientists. Do facts speak for themselves? What should the role of scientist be? How to be an ambassador for facts and a convener? Should scientists speak only about problems or also about solutions? Doesn't it blur boundaries between science and policy, between facts and values?
Sensitising researchers of the necessity to participate in public and political debates and be ambassadors for their research results opens a whole field of questions, which could make scientists very uncomfortable. The session intends to address these and promulgate universal corner stones for developing and communicating science for policy based on responsibility, integrity, independence, and accountability. The linear model of evidence-informed policy-making has proven to be inefficient. There is an increasing need of ‘doing science differently’, notably through cocreation and co-production of ‘evidence’. To have greater policy impact, we need to move from arms-length, one-shot, silo'ed and slow delivery of knowledge to policy towards iterative, intimate, systems/joined-up approach and just-in-time delivery through co-creation in "epistemic communities".
The session will go a step further and explore which are the best new methodologies, tools (research synthesis, behavioural insights, citizen/society/stakeholder engagement, policy labs) and skill-sets (knowledge management and community facilitation, communication, visualisation) to fulfil this new role. How do scientists increase impact of science on policies? How to build a lasting relationship of trust, co-creation and co-production with the policymakers? How to establish a position of a convener? The session will draw conclusions on what are the training needs of the actors at the evidence for policy interface in order to be better conveners and ambassadors for facts.

avatar for Monica Gattinger

Monica Gattinger

Director, Institute for Science, Society and Policy
Monica Gattinger is Director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy and Associate Professor at the School of Political Studies. Her research and engagement focus on North American energy policy and Canadian arts and cultural policy. What links the two is her interest in... Read More →

avatar for Kathryn Graham

Kathryn Graham

Executive Director, Performance Management and Evaluation, Alberta Innovates
Kathryn is a co‐founder of the International School on Research Impact Assessment and was Director of the School when it was hosted in Banff in 2014. She is the Executive Director of Performance Management and Evaluation at Alberta Innovates, a Canadian‐based publicly‐funded... Read More →
avatar for Jeremy Kerr

Jeremy Kerr

Professor of Biology, University Research Chair in Macroecology and Conservation, University of Ottawa
Jeremy Kerr is Professor of Biology and University Research Chair in Macroecology and Conservation at University of Ottawa. His research focuses on understanding how global changes affect conservation prospects for vital species, such as pollinators. He has published more than 80... Read More →
avatar for David Mair

David Mair

Head of Unit, responsible for Science advice to policy and the Work Programme, European Commission, Joint Research Centre (the Commission's science and knowledge service)
David has worked for the EU's European Commission since 1995 and in the Joint Research Centre (the Commission's science and knowledge service) since 2011 as Head of Unit responsible for Science advice to policy and the Work Programme. Since July 2016 he is Head of the Unit "Knowledge... Read More →
avatar for Bob Walker

Bob Walker

‎Retired Senior Executive/ Former President and CEO, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Dr. Robert Walker has had a distinguished career in public service in various leadership roles, both domestic and international. From November 2010 until his retirement in September 2015, Dr. Walker was with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, a federal Crown Corporation, first as Senior... Read More →

Thursday November 2, 2017 10:30 - 12:00 EDT
GATINEAU – ROOM 205/207 Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J2