By Invitation Only
Science speaks to politics, policy and power precisely because it has evidence (www.sci-com.eu). This fifth and final round-table gathering of 55 thought-leaders will scrutinise the science of science policy-making. It gains its legitimacy from being independent and inclusive of all stakeholders. It closes the loop on a five-year experiment involving over 250 groups and networks worldwide. Synthesizing past efforts from four annual high-level meetings held in Brussels, this initiative stands to have considerable impact on the ways in which science advice is structured and delivered to promote integrity and accountability. Ahead of World Science Forum 2017 Jordan, this gathering of peers will codify a Brussels Declaration of Ethics & Principles of Science Policy-Making to be made public in September 2016. Our starting point for discussion is that the practice of science has been re-shaped by endogenous and exogenous forces in recent decades. Public policy-making, too, has changed in a number of ways. Also, the context of these activities is itself evolving as global factors such as new market forces, climate change, public health, ICT and sustainable development influence domestic situations. These three shifting arenas mean not only that science plays a more important role in informing policy, but that it must do so using ever more complex, contingent and contested knowledge. Claim and counter-claim of ‘evidence-based policy versus policy-biased evidence’ are hardly distinguishable. The number of stakeholders involved only grows – a good thing – while the ‘playbook’ at the boundary of science and public policy is constantly being re-written, but by who? This five-year long experiment aims to provide science and society with the most definitive playbook to-date, while calling for further study.
Michel Kazatchkine, UN Health Envoy & Member of The Global Commission on Drug Policy
Julian Kinderlerer, University of Cape Town & Immediate Past President, European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE)
Aidan Gilligan, CEO SciCom – Making Sense of Science & Euroscience Governing Board