This guide grows out of the research project “Evidence-based Science
Communication with Policymakers” conducted by the four authors
and sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and the Rita
In order to write these recommendations, we spent over a year studying
science communication with policymakers from several vantage points.
We reviewed hundreds of scholarly works on the topic published in
over a dozen fields as well as numerous practical guides written by
scientific societies. We interviewed both Democratic and Republican
Congressional policymakers, including 22 Members of Congress and
20 staff members.
We also conducted a random-sample survey of over 600 scientist
members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS). In our interviews and survey, we asked individuals to tell us,
in their experience, what science communication practices are most,
and least, effective.
The recommendations in this guide represent our efforts to distill this
research into one brief, useful document. Because our interviews and
prior expertise focus on the U.S. Congress, this guide is most relevant
to interactions with that body. However, we believe our advice is
applicable, with some modifications, to other policymakers as well.
We hope you find this guide helpful as you seek to advocate for the
greater use of quality evidence in the policymaking process
One Page Summary (PDF)