Science and the future of Democracy

13 November 2017, 4:30pm

How do we improve the engagement between science and public policy?

The Cambridge Institute for Public Policy, the Centre for Science and Policy, and Churchill College are working together to launch a new programme on science and the future of democracy. The programme will aim to improve the quality, quantity and diversity of engagement between science and public policy. It will have a particular focus on the skills, incentives and support scientists need to play a full part in the provision of expert advice to government.

Over the course of this programme a series of questions will be examined;

  • What might be done to develop a ‘pipeline’ of policy-literate scientists, who are ready and able to take part in high-level policy discussions and respond to requests for specific forms of expert advice?
  • What might be done better to curate a wider variety of conversations between policy-makers and academics, that will enable officials to consider whether they are asking the right questions in the first place and identifying the right priorities?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges which Brexit poses to this endeavour?
  • What might universities do to improve the quality and diversity of expert engagement with public policy?

This first event on 13 November will reflect on scientific advice and the industrial strategy as an example of a structured consultative process designed to engage experts from a range of backgrounds. It will then move on to examine what mechanisms, support and incentives can improve the "pipeline" of scientific advisers.

Thumbnail image by UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences licensed under CC BY 4.0

Professor Dame Athene Donald

Churchill College, Cambridge