CPAS joins international NSF project on evaluating COVID-19 science advice

12 November 2020

Scientific knowledge and expertise is increasingly important in support of effective decision making.

In recent decades, the United States and other nations around the world have designed and put into place institutional mechanisms to better secure science advice.

The Coronavirus pandemic has put these institutions to the test, offering a rare opportunity to assess their performance in the context of a global crisis.

CPAS joins a new University of Colorado Boulder-led effort that aims to look at the role science itself has played in influencing how countries and their leaders have responded – and what that response (or lack thereof) has meant for citizens.

The EScAPE: Evaluation of Science Advice in a Pandemic Emergency project is funded by a US$155,000 National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant, and led by Roger Pielke Jr. and an international team of investigators. 

Associate Professor Sujatha Raman leads the Australian team with colleagues from the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science. 

The project performs a comparative, international evaluation of mechanisms of science advice in the pandemic emergency.

As the pandemic continues, the results of this research will be of potential immediate relevance to institutions that are addressing the continuing need for science advice.

More broadly, this research has great potential to contribute to the continued improvement of scientific advisory practices, which will only become more important in confronting challenges of the 21st century

A/Prof Raman (with CPAS colleagues and Dr Jeremy Baskin, University of Melbourne) also recently joined CompCoRe, the NSF project on COVID-19 led by Profs Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard) and Steve Hilgartner (Cornell) which is asking: what makes expert knowledge credible, legitimate, and reliable for use in public policy?