Funders take on various roles at science-policy interface

Photo courtesy of SeniorLiving.Org
Photo courtesy of SeniorLiving.Org

Foundations across the world are playing different roles in the funding and policy landscapes, participants at the recent ‘Interfaces of Science and Policy and the Role of Foundations‘ conference heard.

When it comes to funding, the role of foundations can be subtle, speakers said, in that they contribute to the diversity of funding sources available for research. But when funding areas that are also politically active, foundations can experience internal conflict.

Professor James Wilsdon outlined three potential roles for foundations at the interfaces of science and policy:

1) to develop understanding of the science of science advice

2) to create fora for discussion between those working at the interfaces of science and policy

3) to facilitate the exchange of individuals across the divide.

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