There has been a flurry of articles of late listing important things that scientists, politicians and the public should know about each other. I am logging them here because I enjoyed each of the pieces and think it likely that I will want to consult them in future.
First to appear was the piece by William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter and Mark Burgman that was published in Nature on 20th November — Policy: Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims. Their list mutated mysteriously into the Top 20 things politicians need to know about science when reported in the Guardian.
In reply a couple of weeks later Chris Tyler, the director of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and someone deeply involved with policy makers, listed his Top 20 things scientists need to know about policy-making.
That wasn’t the end of it. Just two days after Tyler, Roland Jackson of Sciencewise, a body devoted to fostering public discourse about science policy, sought to remind both scientists and policy makers about the general public by itemising 12 things policy-makers and scientists should know about the public.
And that is the end for now. I did think momentarily of summarising the contents of these articles using a carefully constructed Venn diagram but then recovered my senses. Nevertheless I recommend each of them as a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the intersection of science, people and policy.