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  • Making science count in policy

This guide, published by the UK's Natural Environmental Research Council, gives researchers guidance on how they can get involved in the policymaking process.

Although it focuses on policy processes in the UK, the advice should be useful to scientists in developing countries.

The guide provides compelling reasons for closer collaboration between scientists and policymakers.

The authors argue that the main aim of science-to-policy activities should be to ensure that policy-making is underpinned by sound science, but add that it may also help scientists to gain job satisfaction, attract funding, increase collaboration and develop their careers.

Background on policymaking is followed by guidelines on how to reach local and international policymaking bodies. Practical advice on what to do and how to get started is summarised in "top ten tips for communicating science to policymakers" and "tools for science-to-policy work".

They include keeping communications succinct and the importance of building proactive, long-term relationships with policymakers — not just responding when called on.

Eleven case studies illustrate how science can impact policy. The guide concludes with examples of opportunities for influencing policy and a list of useful web links.

Link to full guide from the Natural Environmental Research Council

This practical guide was written by Helen Clayton and Faith Culshaw of the UK's Natural Environment Research Council.