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News article31 October 2017

The role of science in a post-fact politics world

Evidence for policy community
© European Union, 2017

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) teams up with Canadian partners to explore the role of scientists as conveners and as ambassadors for facts in a hyper-complex post-fact politics world.

The JRC is organising a session at the Canadian Science Policy Conference 2017 in Ottawa on 2 November 2017.

Some 30 sessions, 200 panellists and plus 700 participants are expected to attend the CSPC this year.

The JRC session will explore the role of "Scientists as conveners and as ambassadors for facts".

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.

The session will explore the role of scientists wishing to inform and support policies in today's climate of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Panellists and participants will debate a number of questions, such as:

  • Do facts speak for themselves?
  • What should the role of scientist be? Is it ethical for scientists to seek to influence political debates?
  • Should scientists speak only about problems or also about solutions?
  • Doesn't it blur boundaries between science and policy, between facts and values?
  • Why should politicians listen to scientists more than any other group in society?
  • How can we change policymakers minds with facts?
  • How do we increase the demand for evidence by decision-makers?

The session will also further the debate, which the JRC started at its Annual Conference EU4Facts on 26 September 2017.

Related Content

Summary of the JRC session at the CSPC conference

EU4FACTS: Evidence for policy in a post-fact world

#EU4FACTS - Evidence for Policy Community

Canadian Science Policy Centre

Canadian Science Policy Conference 2017


Publication date
31 October 2017