Side event with the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment

Communicating scientific knowledge to policy makers is essential to inform evidence-based decision making, and certain pathways for this engagement have established themselves as the standard. Minister of climate and environment, Espen Barth Eide (Labour Party), will participate in the side-event at Arctic Frontiers.

Tor Eldevik (project leader and UiB) is leading the panel in Tromsø.

“We will celebrate the resonance that science actually has on the political agenda, for example as represented by the IPCC processes, and at the same time challenge the panel on why the resonance in actual policies remain limited” Eldevik says.  

Is knowledge from scientist setting the political agenda?

Assessment reports with policy-maker summaries, as exemplified by outputs from the IPCC and IPBES, are one example that have been influential in setting political agendas in recent years. Such successes in science-policy engagement are important to celebrate, but also important is continued consideration and review of scientific engagement approaches to ensure impact continues to improve.

Are we as the scientific experts still lacking in our capability to translate what’s societally relevant into actionable knowledge? Or can society simply not bypass the inherent inertia of political process? Can we together improve communication to speed things up significantly?

Through a panel discussion and Q&A session, we wish to highlight the accomplishments of current engagement pathways, identifying their successes and the lessons that can be learnt from these for future science-policy interaction in the Arctic. We will also however challenge the current norms of science-policy engagement, considering the limitations or shortfalls of current approaches.

Topics will include the realized impact of current methods and how to assess it, and barriers that prevent effective and equitable engagement from the perspectives both of knowledge-holders and decision-makers.

“We will discuss potential approaches to address such issues, including through new or additional engagement pathways, with the aim to enable more effective Arctic science-policy engagement, from the individual researcher to the wider scientific community” Eldevik concludes.

Post doc Alun Jones (NTNU) and Lise Øvreås (UiB/UNIS/ President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters) join in the conversation with from the Nansen Legacy.