Since 2019, I have the pleasure to be one of the trainers for the Joint Research Center (JRC) on the topic of “evidence informed policy” or how JRC scientists can improve their communication and the way they interact with policy-makers. I co-facilitate this fun and interesting training with Sybille van den Hove CEO of Bridging for Sustainability sprl.
With the Covid Crisis, the critical role of science advisors has been put forward. Politicians and policy makers have turned to scientific committees asking for the best available science and for advice and then decided on the course of action following or not this science advice. This crisis has also exacerbated the post-truth society we live in, fake news, rumours, everyone has decided what was his/her own truth.
For scientists, this has been questionning their role and their communication with policy makers and the wider society. Our 2 day professionnal training helps JRC scientists better understanding policymaking processes and gaining insight into the interaction between the different paradigms in which scientists, policymakers and politicians operate. In this context, they explore with us how science can bring an added value for policy making and how they can increase the political impact of their research. ?
This training was created by the Rathenau institute further developed by DG JRC of the European Commission in collaboration with the first team of trainers, Sven Retoré from Visuality and François Busquet from Altertox.
The training starts from an introduction on the different worlds of policy makers and scientists, with different objectives, norms and cultural habbits. Scientists live in a world of facts, research, finding truth, understanding reality & uncertainty. Policy makers inhabit a totally different world which consists of justification, values, pressure groups, reconciliation of different perceptions & compromise. Through role games, discussions and presentations of current key references on science policy interface, the training helps them build a bridge between the world of policy making and the world research. The second day is dedicated to better communication from how you identify your key messages, analyse you target audience, convey your messages through story-telling and visuals.
We have already training more than 150 scientists from the JRC and look forward to meeting new trainees!