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Scientists and researchers have a key role to play in advising policymakers to support evidence-informed policymaking.

Independent science advice is key to high quality, evidence-informed policy. Scientists and scientific advisers have been thrust into the spotlight during the coronavirus pandemic. There has been much discussion of ways of working, how they feed into policy discussions and the composition of advisory committees. The Forum is exploring how science and science advice can best support policymaking and what lessons the science community could draw when advising governments, from COVID-19 to climate change and beyond.

What's On

  • The Department for Transport has recently released its Areas of Research Interest, which outlines its evidence and research needs. The Department has asked for researchers to get in touch if they have research needs relevant to the needs of the Parliament. Do get in touch with The Forum team if you are interested.

Past events

Discover our past Science and Policy events

How should scientists inform policy making in a crisis? (Roundtable) - May 2021

The Forum and the Institute for Government hosted a private roundtable that brought together scientists from inside and outside government – and those with experience of advising governments in the UK and other countries – to reflect on the lessons they would draw about how to engage with policy making during crises. Imperial's Professor Helen Ward, Professor of Public Health and Professor Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine joined other academics, scientific advisers and officials to discuss how scientists can best support policymaking in crises.  

Science after coronavirus (panel discussion) - March 2021

The Forum and the Institute for Government co-hosted a panel event on 'Science after coronavirus', featuring panellists Professor Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial, Dr Rupert Lewis, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Royal Society, and Dr Beth Thompson, Head of Policy and Advocacy – UK and EU at the Wellcome Trust. The experts emphasised the value of international collaborative science and the need for its long-term financial security. Read more.

How to build on the vaccine rollout (panel discussion) - March 2021

At a panel event jointly organised by The Forum and the Institute for Government, Imperial's Professor Robin Shattock joined George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk and former Minister for Life Sciences, Tom Chivers, author and Science Editor at Unherd and Dr Rebecca Fisher, GP and Senior Policy Fellow at The Health Foundation. Professor Shattock, who leads Imperial's COVID-19 vaccine team, said the UK must invest more in RNA technology to avoid losing ground in what he called a 'potential revolution'. Read more.

Using evidence in government and Parliament (panel discussion) - October 2020

The Forum joined forces with the Institute for Government to deliver a programme of work on improving the use of evidence in policymaking. A public panel discussion on using evidence in government and Parliament was held, which also launched the report by The Forum and the Institute for Government on key learnings from the programme of work. The panel included Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Science, Research & Digital and Greg Clark MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee and former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Read more about the event.