WK 20 - Making Your Science Usable For Decision Makers

Sunday, August 7, 2011: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
18D, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Lori A. Hidinger
Co-organizers: Jeff E. Herrick , Dan Sarewitz , Mahmud Farooque and Clifford Duke
Speakers: Ann Bartuska , Lee Benaka , Gabriela Chavarria and Jeffrey D. Herrick

In 2011, the US government will spend over $10 billion on research and development in the biological and ecological sciences. What gets done with that enormous sum has important implications for the wide variety of problems facing our society including environmental and climate change, rapid urbanization, and public health. Given the complexity and the significance of such challenges, how can those involved in designing, directing, or implementing research effectively do so to make progress toward desired social goals?

This workshop will explore these challenges and potential solutions based on Usable Science: A Handbook for Science Policy Decision Makers. The Handbook addresses the challenge of producing usable science, defined as science that meets the changing needs of decision makers. It offers specific recommendations for producing usable science, such as understanding and connecting with potential users of science in setting the course of research policies.

More specifically, the workshop will identify the needs for usable science in federal agencies responsible for ecological stewardship, what scientists must consider to make their findings usable, and how usable science can be incorporated into decision making, policy, management and regulation. It will include an introduction to the concept of usable science and a panel discussion with representatives of federal agencies (e.g., NOAA, EPA, USFS, NRCS, BLM) on making science usable. This will be followed by small working groups in which participants will discuss what the meanings of usable science in terms of their own research and how they can incorporate it into their work.

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