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AAAS 2018: JRC session on "Facts and Values in Public Policymaking"

AAAS 2018: JRC session on "Facts and Values in Public Policymaking"

On 18 February 2018 the JRC session on "Facts and Values in Public Policymaking" will take place at the AAAS 2018 Annual meeting. 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people. It is the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society. More information about the AAAS Annual Meeting 2018: http://meetings.aaas.org/



Building Trust, Maintaining Integrity and Exercising Influence 

Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor to the Government of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Winning the Trust of Politicians 

Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand

Facts Ambassadors in European Union Policymaking

Vladimir Sucha, Joint Research Centre, European Commission


Julie Beck, Senior Associate Editor, The Atlantic (author of "This article won't change your mind")

Session Synopsis 

Research from the cognitive and decision sciences has exposed the complexity of the relationship between facts, values, emotions, perceptions and decisions. The traditional linear model of human decision-making based on a prior consideration of the facts has shown to be incomplete at best. Motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, the backfire effect, wilful blindness and cognitive dissonance are becoming more widely understood as natural phenomena that have a profound influence on how facts and evidence are used in decision-making and politics.  

In unprecedented times, marred with public controversies about science and policy, it is necessary to reassess the relationship between evidence and values. This is especially important for areas of contested science (climate change, health and vaccinations, fracking, economics, etc.) 

How should scientists, policy-makers and media react? Advancing science through scientific breakthroughs and their practical applications is not enough anymore. Advancing science starts with straitening the meaning of research evidence and expertise in society and politics.

The session's speakers will present new and exciting developments at the intersection of science and public policy, drawing both on their extensive experience in the field and on cutting-edge scientific research on drivers for decision-making. 

These testimonies will be used to spark debate aiming to produce fresh insights on how policymakers, with the support of scientists, can make better public policy. The objective is to search for new ideas on how evidence and data can be effectively balanced with values and emotions when policy decisions are taken. 

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