Advancing the uptake of science into advice

Recent workshop looked into how ICES science can better feed into advice.
Published: 6 November 2018

​​​​​​​​​​The Workshop on translating science into advice (WKSCIENCE2ADVICE) took place 9-11 October at ICES Headquarters in Copenhagen and considered ways to further advance the uptake of science into advice.

A key criterion for ICES advice is that it should be based on the best available science. For this reason, ICES wants to facilitate the uptake and translation of science into the advisory process. Despite this, there has been little evaluation of the processes that best achieve this. There is also a need to guide scientists and advisors on ways in which the scientific work carried out in ICES can be more readily translated into advice and advisory products, and science carried out in relevant external projects be brought into the ICES realm. WKSCIENCE2ADVICE aimed to meet this need.

The translation of science into advice is an important topic for scientists who would like to see their discoveries and innovations make a difference; for advisers, it would allow the growing range of questions posed by clients to be addressed with the best available knowledge.

The workshop was chaired by the outgoing Advisory Committee (ACOM) chair Eskild Kirkegaard and the Science Committee (SCICOM) chair, Simon Jennings and joined by participants representing science and advice and the natural and social sciences.  Together the group examined the factors that might influence the uptake of science by advice – from developing scientific calls and setting expert group Terms of Reference to practices within project and group work, including potential funding mechanisms.

The group revealed that translation of science into advice requires a significant commitment of time and resources to engage people and groups with expertise in advice generation. On the other hand, translating science to advice is highly rewarding for the people involved. It can also create an impactful legacy for expert groups and projects by making a real difference to the conservation and management of the seas.

Outcomes from the workshop include draft guidance for expert groups and projects on how to accelerate the translation of science into advice.  The participants hope that their work will help more scientists in the ICES network understand how they can make greater contributions to a range of advice, including fisheries and ecosystem overviews, and conduct their work in ways to better meet advisory standards and the needs of advice recipients. The initiative should also help to strengthen links between science and advisory processes, as well as guide the development of scientific projects.

Read the workshop report.​​​

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Advancing the uptake of science into advice

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