More and more, universities must show the value of their contributions to economic competitiveness, sustainability and the quality of life of people in rich and poor nations. The Centre focuses on ground-breaking, internationally-recognised research and teaching that addresses key environmental and global policy challenges through the interdisciplinary study of science, technology and innovation.
Focus on Evidence Based Policy Making
Efforts to address major environmental concerns face some formidable barriers. While there is increasing agreement on a number of key issues, a consensus has not yet been reached on how best to address concerns like flood risk and biodiversity loss, and sceptical voices often demand incontrovertible evidence of environmental change before they will allow measures to be taken. However, the often complex, ‘academic’ nature of scientific research doesn’t typically lend itself to rapid decision-making, while many commercial enterprises have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
The generation and analysis of the evidence base to underpin policy priorities is widely recognised as a popular and preferred choice for decision making when dealing with environmental issues.
However, normally despite good intentions, the objective of Evidence Based Decision Making is rarely fully achieved, partly because of how research evidence is not often considered at the policy design stage, and also because the political imperative for quick results barely allows time to collect robust evidence.
The link between scientific evidence and policy making is critical but often a weak one. Historically scientists have failed to communicate effectively the evidence from their research, and policy makers have failed to acknowledge its importance or use it appropriately in the decision making process. Although most attribute this to communication barriers, at the Centre of Environmental Policy research aims to assess real benefits of the link, and in accordance with the College’s strategy enable real, effective, and sustainable solutions though TRANSLATION and INFLUENCE.