Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy encourages scientists to think differently about the use of scientific evidence in policy making. This US report investigates why scientific evidence is important to policy making and argues that an extensive body of research on knowledge utilisation has not led to any widely accepted explanation of what it means to use science in public policy. Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy identifies the gaps in our understanding and develops a framework for a new field of research to fill those gaps.
For social scientists in a number of specialized fields, whether established scholars or Ph.D. students, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy shows how to bring their expertise to bear on the study of using science to inform public policy. More generally, this report will be of special interest to scientists who want to see their research used in policy making, offering guidance on what is required beyond producing quality research, beyond translating results into more understandable terms, and beyond brokering the results through intermediaries, such as think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups. For administrators and faculty in public policy programs and schools, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy identifies critical elements of instruction that will better equip graduates to promote the use of science in policy making.
Produced by the Committee on the Use of Social Science Knowledge in Public Policy; Center for Education; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council. This report was sponsored by the William T. Grant Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.