Center for the Book – National Library of South Africa.
WEDNESDAY, 7 JUNE, 2017

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

High-Level Science for Policy Consultation
Evidence-Based Policy Versus Policy-Biased Evidence: The Challenge of Feeding Scientific Advice Into Policy-Making:

Cape Town is the chosen venue for the launch of an annual consultative process looking at the true robustness of science and society-led policy-making inside the Africa 54. The common goal is to arrive at a Cape Town Declaration on Ethics & Principles of Science & Society Policy-Making for Africa in time for the World Science Forum 2021. This indaba is Co-Chaired by Prof. Roseanne Diab, Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of SA (ASSAf) and Prof. Julian Kinderlerer, Emeritus Professor Cape Town University and Member, European Group on Ethics.

Convened by SciCom – Making Sense of Science, this independent, non-governmental gathering takes as its starting point the Brussels Declaration which proposes a twenty-point blueprint for a set of ethics and principles to inform work at the boundary between science, society and policy. This group-think brings together the findings from a series of five consultation events and twenty-five symposia held at global conferences from 2012 – 2016. More than 300 individuals from 35 countries, often holding opposing views, examined how science speaks to power because it has evidence. Taking feedback from hundreds more stakeholders in open debates, they set out to explain why evidence plus dialogue rarely equals (as one might expect) good decisions and laws.

PRESENTATIONS 1 & 2:

Setting the Global & Pan-African Scene Cause for Alarm or Action?

Welcome Address & Tour de Table Intros:

Roseanne DiabLed by Professor Roseanne Diab: Event Co-Chair & Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of SA (ASSAf); Emeritus Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Member, African Union High-Level Panel on Emerging Technologies.



The Brussels Declaration: A Crucial Moment for Transparency & Inclusivity

Professor Julian Kinderlerer

Professor Julian Kinderlerer, Event Co-Chair & Member, European Group on Ethics & Science in New Technologies (EGE) reporting to EC President Juncker.

Abstract: The Brussels Declaration on Ethics & Principles for Science & Society Policy-Making, launched in February 2017, brings together the findings from a series of five consultation events in which more than 300 individuals from 35 countries examined how power operates in science and society. Their findings were further scrutinised during twenty-five symposia held at global conferences from 2012 – 2016. To-date, the Declaration has had over 45 million views. All delegates will have read the Declaration in advance (https://www.sci-com.eu). My talk will set the scene for the day’s engagements by highlighting how this bottom-up initiative began as a genuine attempt by the scientific community to question the robustness of science-led policy-making worldwide. Proposing a twenty-point blueprint for a set of ethics and principles to inform work at the boundary between science, society and policy, my role is to kick-start new thinking about its relevance to our pioneering initiative focusing specifically on pan-African approaches. Our goal is to produce a new Cape Town Declaration in time for the World Science Forum 2021. Our common effort is to boost Africa’s understanding of how power operates and to explain why evidence plus dialogue rarely equals (as one might expect) good decisions and laws. Above all, we must make the case for a broad, multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach promoting greater integrity and accountability.

Science & Society Policy-Making Inside Africa: Practical Perspectives

Daan Du Toit

Daan Du Toit Deputy Director General, International Relations, Department of Science & Technology.

Abstract: My presentation will analyse the complex nexus of relationships between various constituencies inside Africa’s science establishments. I will examine progress towards better harnessing science and science-advice for both policy and decision-making. In particular, I will highlight concrete examples of inter-regional and broader international cooperation. In 2014, the African Union adopted its comprehensive Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA), which seeks to harness science as an instrument for Africa’s growth and development agenda. Furthermore, recent years have seen intense activity across the continent as different governments develop first or review existing national science and innovation policies and strategies. Also the continent’s Regional Economic Communities, increasingly look to leverage the role of science as an enabler for regional cooperation and integration. The African science landscape comprises a rich and diverse group of actors from government and academia but also the private sector – with Africa increasingly regarded as a hotbed for innovation in, for example, information and communication technologies.

Sex, Drugs & R&D: The HIV/Aids Experience - Lessons Learned For Substance Addictions

Dr Kgosi Letlape

Dr Kgosi Letlape, Chairman of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, Chairman of the African Medical Association, former Chairman of the World Medical Association.

Abstract: My life’s work has been in tackling the HIV/Aids challenge insofar as the epidemic was viewed through a moral compass and not strictly as a health issue. As a result, countless people were not saved when medical science had the answers but policy was slow to act. I will examine the opportunity we now have across Africa in learning from this experience when tackling pressing lifestyle issues around substance addictions in drugs, alcohol and nicotine.

Evidence-Based Scientific Policy Advice: The Case of Chemical, Consumer Product and Drug Safety

Professor Thomas Hartung

Professor Thomas Hartung MD PhD, Professor of Evidence-Based Toxicology, Johns Hopkins University, USA, and Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Konstanz, Germany.

Abstract: Science is not very good at critically appraising itself or indeed, its results. The explosion in ways and means to communicate across multiple platforms these days is a mixed bag. On the one hand, more stakeholders can get involved, results can be more readily shared and theoretically both competence and scrutiny should increase. My talk will demonstrate how, on the other hand, this has just not happened in terms of greater quality assurance and seek to explain why.

In terms of our inaugural, pan-African high-level consultation event, I will make the case for these lessons to be learned now so that the fifty-four-country-continent can better address its societal safety needs based on sound, factual evidence matching local knowledge and needs. I will raise a red flag for Africa in illustrating how things can go wrong when safety science is cherry-picked. In order not to repeat the lessons slowly learned by the self-proclaimed “first world”, a critical appraisal of traditional and new approaches is necessary, to tailor safety testing strategies for the lifestyle challenges of a continent predicted reach four billion citizens in the coming decades.

PART 2: OPEN DIALOGUE:

When Science Speaks to Power Because it has Evidence: Best Practices and Pitfalls

WORKING GROUP #1: What should we expect from the scientific community?

Dr. Hossam BadrawiDiscussion Lead: Dr. Hossam Badrawi (Egypt): M.D, MP: Chairman of the Nile Badrawi Foundation for Education & Development & Ex-Head of the Parliamentary Scientific Committee.



Shakira Choonara: Regional Advocacy Officer, South African Aids Trust.
Felix Dapare Dakora: Professor and South African Research Chair in Agrochemurgy and Plant Symbioses, Chemistry Department, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria.
Roseanne Diab: Event Co-Chair & Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Emeritus Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Member, African Union High-Level Panel on Emerging Technologies.
Thomas Hartung: Professor & Chair of Evidence-Based Toxicology; Director, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences.
Alfred van Kent: Namibian Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation.
Jeffrey Mphahlele: South African Medical Research Council.
John Mugabe: Professor at the Graduate School of Technology University of Pretoria.
Priscilla Reddy: Acting Executive Director, Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation (PHHSI), Human Sciences Research Council.

WORKING GROUP #2: What are the factors taken into account by the policy-making community?

Mammo MuchieDiscussion Lead: Mammo Muchie: Research Chair in Innovation Studies at the Institute of Economics Research on Innovation (IERI), at Tshwane University of Technology.



Manfred Max Bergman: Chair of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel & Extraordinary Professor, University of Western Cape & Free State University.
Kgosi Letlape: Chairman of Health Professions Council of South Africa, Chairman of African Medical Association, former Chairman of World Medical Association.
Karen Metcalf: Regional Manager Elsevier.
Solly Ratemane: Dept of Psychiatry, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU).
Olive Shisana: Former CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council.
Daan Du Toit: Deputy Director General, International Relations, Department of S&T.

WORKING GROUP #3: What needs to improve from the perspective of third-parties and interest groups?

Seema KumarDiscussion Lead: Seema Kumar (India): Vice President of Innovation, Global Health and Policy Communication at Johnson & Johnson (J&J).



Christian Acemah: Uganda National Academy of Sciences (UNAS).
Yvette Ampaire: African Women Initiative on Climate Change.
Marlon Cerf: Chief of Staff, South African Medical Research Council.
Aidan Gilligan: Event Organiser & CEO, SciCom - Making Sense of Science.
Kurt Moore: CEO, South African Liqor Brand Owners Association (SALBA).
Domingos da Silva Neto: Angolan Ministry of Science and Technology.
Nelson Torto: Botswana Institute of Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI).

WORKING GROUP #4: How should scientists, policy-makers and third-parties work together?

Gatama GichiniDiscussion Lead: Gatama Gichini (Kenya): Education Science and Technology Office, High Commission of the Republic of Kenya.



Rupini Vadyvaloo Bergstrom: Head of Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa, PMI.
Mlungisi Cele: Acting Head, National Advisory Council on Innovation.
Michael Kahn: Independent Policy Adviser and Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape.
Andrew Kaniki: Executive Director for Knowledge Fields Development at the National Research Foundation.
Julian Kinderlerer: Event Co-Chair & Member, European Group on Ethics & Science in New Technologies (EGE) reporting to EC President Juncker.
Glaudina Loots: Director of Health, Department of Science & Technology.
Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya: Director & Unit Administrator, Social Aspects of HIV/Aids & Health Research Alliance (SAHARA), HIV/Aids, Sexually Transmitted Infections and TB (HAST), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).
Henry Roman: Director, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa and Co-chair of World Association of Young Scientists (WAYS).
Miyoko O. Wantanabe: Deputy Executive Director, Japanese Science & Technology Agency.

African Futures: Educated Guesses About What Needs To Happen Next

Michael KahnDiscussion Lead: Professor Michael Kahn (South African): Education Science and Technology Office, High Commission of the Republic of Kenya.



Finalising Consultation Event Group Recommendations

Julian Kinderlerer & Roseanne DiabLed by Professor Julian Kinderlerer and Professor Roseanne Diab




Aidan GilliganRapporteur: Aidan Gilligan: SciCom - Making Sense of Science

Participant Quotes

Aidan Gilligan (Irish): CEO, Sci-Com Making Sense of Science.

"Harm reduction, particularly in drugs, alcohol and tobacco, is the greatest public health opportunity in history. If not grasped, one in seven people alive today will die needlessly, not from starvation, war or communicable diseases. One billion+ will die from smoking-related diseases, half a billion+ will die from drinking – currently the biggest killer of under 35 year olds worldwide – and 35 million will die from drug-related use (Source: WHO). Society professes intolerance for the use of ‘drugs’ while providing the social settings to enable and make legitimate their use."

Roseanne Diab: Event Co-Chair; Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Emeritus Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; & African Union High-Level African Panel on Emerging Technologies (APET).

"The significance of this high-level event bringing together diverse top-down and bottom-up experts from across Africa and beyond cannot be over-emphasised. Science-based issues are becoming more important to the conduct of foreign policy. Countries large and small, developed and developing, are expressing greater interest in implementing science diplomacy through politics for the purpose of representation, cooperation, resolving disputes, improving systems and securing the right to science for citizens and our most vulnerable populations. The same holds true for global companies and institutions operating in an ever-more complex matrix of technical and relational challenges. Our common purpose is to kick-start a five-year consultative process. This is being organised by Africans so as to respond to specific African strengths, traditions and needs. Our minds are already excited by, and focused on, the tidal-wave potential of the Cape Town 2021 Declaration as a principled blueprint for our Continent and its relations with the wider-world."

Professor Julian Kinderlerer, Event Co-Chair & Member, European Group on Ethics & Science in New Technologies (EGE) reporting to EC President Juncker.

"There has seldom been a time when advice from scientists to policy makers is so sorely needed. Evidence based science is being ignored by those responsible for policy We need to ensure that data is collected and interpreted ethically and that policy is determined with that information on the table. Knowledge is the property of all of us, and must be shared openly with all who might be affected by its use."

Max Bergman (Austria): Chair of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel & Extraordinary Professor, University of Western Cape & Free State University.

"The biggest public health challenge in Africa today is competing policy environments that cannot deal with sustainability in health care, not only of infectious diseases but, increasingly, of chronic diseases. A more systemic, community-based, education-oriented, context-sensitive, culture-relevant, and long-term policy approach must integrate policies on poverty and economic development, agriculture and nutrition, and water and sanitation. While this seems hugely ambitious, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its UN Sustainability Goals may be an excellent vehicle to advance a more sustainable public health agenda in Africa."

Seema Kumar (India): Vice President of Innovation, Global Health and Policy Communication at Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

"Africa is rising, coming of age, and ready to show the world a new face--not of poverty, disillusion, and famine--but of self-sufficiency, hope, and sustainability. This new face of Africa will be built by a next generation of motivated youth who are engaged, inspired, and interested in leveraging science and technology to solve human health and other societal challenges. Now more than ever there is enormous opportunity advance African public health and economic development by working together more effectively across sectors, including public, private, NGOs and civil society, to unleash the full intellectual and human potential of the continent through empowerment, education, and public engagement in health and science policy."

Hossam Badrawi (Egyptian): M.D, MP, & Chairman of the Nile Badrawi Foundation for Education & Development & Ex-Head of the Parliamentary Scientific Committee

"Africa’s public health challenge is to extend primary care services backed up with greater quality assurance and a tighter referral system to secondary and tertiary services. We need to also look at boosting environmental health while better maximising the benefits of technological advances in healthcare, also in terms of greater networking and communications."

Oyewale Tomori (Nigerian): Professor of Virology, Educational Administrator & former Vice Chancellor of Redeemer's University.

"Our greatest risk in Africa is in not including the public more in public health discussions. If we see health as only a revenue-generating industry and rush headlong for profits while forgetting the potential for awful repercussions in terms of social wellbeing and the destruction of years of economic growth and prosperity through better health, then all of Africa will suffer."

Shakira Choonara (South African): Regional Advocacy Officer, South African Aids Trust.

"Policies across Africa tend to follow populist rhetoric and political interests instead of truly effecting change and being implementable. For example, in South Africa National Health Insurance, while valuable and progressive, fails to consider support-side functions such as financial management or procurement which require urgent strengthening. Secondly, policies are all-too-often developed within specific ministries such as health or education instead of across ministries. This silo effect leads to unnecessary fragmentation and a lack of coordinated response."

Miyoko O. Wantanabe: Deputy Executive Director, Japanese Science & Technology Agency.

"In order to broaden ‘universal health coverage (UHC)’ it is imperative that all stakeholders must be allowed to put their research and their social science knowledge forward. Clubs, bans, traditions, closed networks etc. simply do not deliver. What the Brussels Declaration has shown over the past five years is that the world must embrace the co-production of policy with and for society and not only top-down solutions that rarely work in practice. To achieve this, our scientists need greater ‘social literacy’ in terms of understanding how the public might view or react to policy proposals, while our citizens need to embrace ‘scientific literacy’ as a public necessity, while retaining their right to scrutinise science from a position of evidence-based understanding."

Mammo Muchie (Ethiopian): Research Chair in Innovation Studies at the Institute of Economics Research on Innovation (IERI), at Tshwane University of Technology.

"We urgently need a critical, theoretically-based reading of innovation systems in a manner that connects it to developmental questions for all of Africa. Education and health innovation is timely as education and health are, above all else, more life-saviours than just a means to train and keep people to lead life! Furthermore, they can be organised to create inventors and skilled entrepreneurs promoting the structural transformation and sustainable development Africa needs."

Nelson Torto (Botswana): Botswana Institute of Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI).

"Given that we only know public health as we observe and experience it, greater dialogue through a proof of evidence concept could provide the greatest public health policy-making opportunity. This gathering is an important first step on the road to greater openness and inclusivity. It is only by learning from each other and calling for greater scrutiny of the evidence can true dialogue impacting better policy choices be achieved."

Kurt Moore (South African): CEO, South African Liqor Brand Owners Association (SALBA).

"The alcoholic beverage industry is strategically and relationally well placed, and that we have sufficient understanding of our industry, its strengths and its ills, to make a meaningful contribution to policies that seek to reduce the harms associated with alcohol abuse in today’s Africa. We need greater appreciation for science and research above conjecture to make informed policy-decisions. That is why industry, civil society and government must work closer together."

Thomas Hartung (German): Professor & Chair of Evidence-Based Toxicology; Director, Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences.

"Scientist must leave their ivory tower to impact on society, but to do so credibly, advice must be based on sound, ethical and humane science. They owe the society that finances them the best advice possible and must be open for communication and criticism. My greatest fear is that we are teaching ‘developing’ countries 20th century science, while we ‘developed’ countries are embarking on 21st century approaches. They should be part of the change!"

Henry Roman (South Africa): Director, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa and Co-chair of World Association of Young Scientists (WAYS).

"The greatest opportunity for me in the public health space is in improving sanitation. Good sanitation and sanitary practice in communities is a no-brainer that will improve general health. But we must act together across Africa to share technologies and best practices. Water-borne diseases remain a preventable killer indiscriminate of age, gender or country."

Michael Kahn (South Africa): Independent Policy Adviser and Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape.

"Opportunities and challenges facing public health in Africa are largely in the realm of health security that is driven by the impacts of climate change, weak governance, emerging zoonotic and other diseases, and threats of bioterrorism. These are especially acute in fragile or failed states. More prosperous communities also face the risks of lifestyle disease."

Glaudina Loots (South Africa): Director of Health, Department of Science & Technology (DST).

"One of the main challenges within health research and innovation is the potential and tendency of scientists to over-promise on the nature and impact of their discoveries, creating expectations that cannot be delivered on. Another challenge is how to harness the potential of precision and genomic medicine for application within public health delivery, taking it beyond access to only a few people."

Upcoming Partnered Events 2017 - 2018

‘Bridging Science & Societies’
26 – 30 October, 2017
World Congress of Science Journalists (WCSJ) San Francisco
http://wcsj2017.org/

‘Science For Peace’
7 – 11 November, 2017
World Science Forum, Jordan
http://www.worldscienceforum.org/

‘A Future Woven Through Dialogue Between Science & Daily Life’
24 – 26 November, 2017
Science Agora Tokyo
http://www.jst.go.jp/csc/scienceagora/en/

‘Igniting Conversations About Science’
7 – 8 December, 2017
Science Forum South Africa, Pretoria
http://www.sfsa.co.za/

‘Advancing Science Discovery To Application’
15 – 19, February, 2018
AAAS, Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas
http://www.aaas.org/

‘Sharing Science Towards New Horizons’
9 – 14 July, 2018
EuroScience Open Forum Toulouse, France
http://www.esof.eu/en/home.html