Towards a New Blueprint of Ethics & Principles of Science Policy-Making

Science speaks to politics, policy and power precisely because it has evidence. But 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 indistinguishable. 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. The 'playbook' at the boundary of science, society and public policy is being re-written. This session tells the tale of a multi-level initiative aimed at establishing new and enduring ethics and principles to inform work at this boundary. 

The Declaration of the 2015 World Science Forum (WSF) in Budapest expresses this hope. The 2016 Brussels Declaration codified an important blueprint following a five-year initiative involving over 250 groups worldwide. Ahead of WSF 2017 Jordan, a pool of eminent thought-leaders has formed under the International Network for Government Science Advice. 

Synthesizing past efforts, the INGSA Working Group hosted consultations in Manchester, Brussels and Pretoria. This process is now entering its final stage, brings together diverse stakeholders and stands to have considerable impact on the ways in which science advice is structured and delivered to promote inclusivity, integrity and accountability. 

Key architects will deliver a progress report on new ideas and texts emerging, while sharing personal insights into the challenges overcome and still ahead. 

SciCom Partners:

  • Office of the Chief Science Adviser to US Secretary of State;
  • Office of the UN Health Envoy;
  • Office of the Chief Science Adviser to the PM of New Zealand;
  • The Royal Scientific Society of Jordan;
  • Cape Town University.
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