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27 February 2019 Scientists in the Politicoscientific Community: Beyond the Lorax
Helen Spafford
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Abstract

There is a need for and interest in research scientists participating more in the politicoscientific community, and there are several places on the policy continuum where specialist scientific knowledge and perspective can be useful for governance and policy. Science policy is diverse and complicated; involving different branches, departments, agencies, and committees in the Federal government and within state and local government. Advocating, as scientists, on matters of science policy, is challenging, and scientists who do so must engage thoughtfully and deliberately. One consideration is whether the scientist communicates only facts, advocates for a position based on their values, or positions themselves somewhere along a facts-to-values continuum. Another consideration is whether engaging in science advocacy undermines credibility of the scientist and science, more generally. Science itself is a complex enterprise and it is difficult to communicate such complexity in a short period of time, even for any one issue, therefore, engagement in science policy will entail trade-offs in communicating detail and complexity particularly on issues that challenge individual or societal values. There is a growing body of resources and perspectives, including those in this special collection of papers, to encourage and assist scientists in the politicoscientific community and help them develop the skills to be effective members of this community.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Helen Spafford "Scientists in the Politicoscientific Community: Beyond the Lorax," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 112(2), 57-61, (27 February 2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/aesa/saz006
Received: 25 January 2019; Accepted: 25 January 2019; Published: 27 February 2019
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KEYWORDS
evidence-based
science advocacy
science policy
scientific credibility
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