The Palgrave Communications Collection on Scientific Advice to Governments is guest edited by Sir Peter Gluckman (Former-Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand & Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice) and Professor James Wilsdon (Professor of Research Policy, Department of Politics and Director of Impact and Engagement, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK).

Scientific advice to governments has never been in greater demand; nor has it been more contested. From climate change to cyber-security, poverty to pandemics, food technologies to fracking, the questions being asked of scientists, engineers and other experts by policymakers, the media and the wider public continue to multiply and increase in complexity. At the same time, the authority and legitimacy of experts are under increasing scrutiny, particularly on controversial topics, such as climate change and genetically modified crops.

This thematic collection brings together perspectives on the theory, practice and politics of scientific advice that build on the conclusions of the landmark conference in Auckland in August 2014, which led to the creation of the INGSA. Additional papers will be published over the coming months.

  1. How to communicate effectively with policymakers: combine insights from psychology and policy studies. Paul Cairney & Richard Kwiatkowski
  2. Storytelling and evidence-based policy: lessons from the grey literature. Brett Davidson
  3. Maximising the availability and use of high-quality evidence for policymaking: collaborative, targeted and efficient evidence reviews. Anna Gavine, Steve MacGillivray, Mary Ross-Davie, Kirstie Campbell, Linda White & Mary Renfrew
  4. How can we use the ‘science of stories’ to produce persuasive scientific stories? Michael D. Jones & 
    Deserai Anderson Crow
  5. Three lessons from evidence-based medicine and policy: increase transparency, balance inputs and understand power. Kathryn Oliver & Warren Pearce
  6. Insights from ‘policy learning’ on how to enhance the use of evidence by policymakers. Antje Witting

  7. Evolving academic culture to meet societal needs. Kateryna Wowk, Larry McKinney, Frank Muller-Karger, Russell Moll, Susan Avery, Elva Escobar-Briones, David Yoskowitz & Richard McLaughlin
  8. Rethinking policy ‘impact’: four models of research policy relations. Christina Boswell & Katherine Smith
  9. How can we demonstrate the public value of evidence-based policy making when government ministers declare that the people ‘have had enough of experts’? Leighton Andrews

  10. Evaluation of the quality of science, technology and innovation advice available to lawmakers in Nigeria Maruf Sanni, Omolayo Oluwatope, Adedamola Adeyeye & Abiodun Egbetokun
  11. Scientific assessments to facilitate deliberative policy learning Martin Kowarsch, Jennifer Garard, Pauline Riousset, Dominic Lenzi, Marcel J. Dorsch, Brigitte Knopf, Jan-Albrecht Harrs & Ottmar Edenhofer
  12. Providing a “challenge function”: Government social researchers in the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (2010–2015) Michael Kattirtzi
  13. Temporal and spatial dimensions in the management of scientific advice to governments Marc Saner
  14. Exploring the science–policy interface on climate change: The role of the IPCC in informing local decision-making in the UK Candice Howarth & James Painter
  15. Reflections on science advisory systems in Canada Remi Quirion, Arthur Carty, Paul Dufour & Ramia Jabr
  16. The Rothschild report (1971) and the purpose of government-funded R&D—a personal account Miles Parker
  17. Scientific advice in China: the changing role of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Xiaoxuan Li, Kejia Yang & Xiaoxi Xiao
  18. Exploring the scope of science advice: social sciences in the UK government Adam CG Cooper
  19. Scientific advice on the move: the UK mobile phone risk issue as a public experiment Jack Stilgoe
  20. The evolving role of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in providing science and technology policy advice to the US government Peter D Blair
  21. Five years after Fukushima: scientific advice in Japan Yasushi Sato & Tateo Arimoto
  22. Revealing a paradox in scientific advice to governments: the struggle between modernist and reflexive logics within the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency Eva-Maria Kunseler
  23. Science, technology and innovation indicators in policy-making: the Nigerian experience Willie Siyanbola, Adedamola Adeyeye, Olawale Olaopa & Omowumi Hassan
  24. Ensuring science is useful, usable and used in global disaster risk reduction and sustainable development: a view through the Sendai framework lens Amina Aitsi-Selmi, Kevin Blanchard & Virginia Murray