We’ve been having a discussion about how to design a study to understand owl/fire relationships with the results being accepted by the people on both sides. A while back I write about “what science related to policy should have” in my Eight Steps to Vet Scientific Information for Policy Fitness post here.
Let me tell a story.. one day back in the 80’s a researcher told me that management should listen to her findings. I ran a lab for the National Forests that did the same kind of lab work with QA/QC protocols. I asked about her QA/QC protocols. She said “researchers can’t afford to do that on our grants.” I said National Forests can’t afford to change management on research without QA/QC.
But I’m not an outlier on this.. here’s the text of a speech delivered by Sir Peter Gluckman, the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand on January 18, 2018, titled “Science to Inspire Humanity”.
Second, science must be embedded in society at every stage. This means the science community must be open to discussion on what science is undertaken (before it is undertaking it), how it is done, and what practical implications might be drawn from it. Concepts like co-design and co-production and extended peer review need to be more than slogans. These concepts need to be implemented in ways that enhances scientific rigor while ensuring valid public values about the research agenda and the application of science and technology.
Some science policy literature suggests you should give up on science once it becomes a weapon in policy science-slinging. But there is another way. Co-design and co-production and extended peer review (including of proposals) would be a great deal of work, but this might be the size of topic to try it out. Maybe USGS, NSF, the FS could all fund it jointly and the state universities would participate?
I also think his “science roadmaps” to facilitate prioritization and coordination are interesting ideas. See his blog post here.