Science Policy Workshop
for early career researchers
8 - 9 October 2019
The dialogue between scientists and policy-makers is crucial to ensure that climate and environmental policies are based on sound scientific knowledge. Therefore, the knowledge transfer from science to policy plays a major role in modern science and will be even more important in the future. Exposing researchers to the science-policy-interface is particularly important in an early career stage to develop an understanding of the tools and processes involved and a natural collaboration beyond science. Policy needs scientists who have consolidated knowledge and give objective, independent and target-oriented advice. Communicating scientific information to policy-makers requires certain skills in translating the scientific information into information that can be understood by policy-makers or nonscientists, as scientists and policy-makers very often speak different „languages“.
The workshop “Raising awareness and building capacity for science-based policy-making” aimed to provide training to early career researchers, including indigenous researchers, to raise awareness of the need to communicate beyond the research community, to introduce new career paths for early career researchers outside academia and to lower “mental barriers” in the knowledge transfer between science and politics. The workshop took place at the Icelandic Center for Research (RANNIS) in Reykjavík, Iceland from 8 to 9 October 2019. It was organized by the German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and RANNIS, in cooperation with the German Embassy in Reykjavík. The workshop was supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The workshop gathered 27 participants with 11 nationalities, 16 keynote speakers, mentors and organizers. The agenda included keynote presentations by both policy-makers and scientists experienced in knowledge transfer. Two breakout groups led by invited mentors discussed specific elements of the science-to-policy and policy-to-science communication in more detail. The overarching guiding questions were (1) how to find an audience in a science-policy communication context, (2) how to translate a message to the target audience and (3) how to design science projects to address stakeholder‘s and societal needs.
A summary of the workshop was presented and discussed in a Breakout Session of the Arctic Circle Assembly 2019 right after the workshop.
A report is currently developed by the workshop participants and provides a compilation of the recommendations that they identified at the workshop and will be available in January 2020.