A collaboratively derived international research agenda on legislative science advice



Akerlof K, Tyler C, Foxen SE, Heath E, Gual Soler M, Allegra A, Cloyd ET, Hird JA, Nelson SM, Nguyen CT, Gonnella CJ, Berigan LA, Abeledo CR, Al-Yakoub TA & Cairney P (2019) A collaboratively derived international research agenda on legislative science advice. Palgrave Communications, 5 (1), Art. No.: 108.

The quantity and complexity of scientific and technological information provided to policymakers have been on the rise for decades. Yet little is known about how to provide science advice to legislatures, even though scientific information is widely acknowledged as valuable for decision-making in many policy domains. We asked academics, science advisers, and policymakers from both developed and developing nations to identify, review and refine, and then rank the most pressing research questions on legislative science advice (LSA). Experts generally agree that the state of evidence is poor, especially regarding developing and lower-middle income countries. Many fundamental questions about science advice processes remain unanswered and are of great interest: whether legislative use of scientific evidence improves the implementation and outcome of social programs and policies; under what conditions legislators and staff seek out scientific information or use what is presented to them; and how different communication channels affect informational trust and use. Environment and health are the highest priority policy domains for the field. The context-specific nature of many of the submitted questions—whether to policy issues, institutions, or locations—suggests one of the significant challenges is aggregating generalizable evidence on LSA practices. Understanding these research needs represents a first step in advancing a global agenda for LSA research.

Additional co-authors: Harris Francis Andoh, Laura dos Santos Boeira, Pieter van Boheemen, Robert Cook-Deegan, Gavin Costigan, Meghnath Dhimal, Martín Hernán Di Marco, Donatus Dube, Abiodun Egbetokun, Jauad El Kharraz, Liliana Estrada Galindo, Mark W. J. Ferguson, José Franco, Zach Graves, Emily Hayter, Alma Cristal Hernández-Mondragón, Abbi D. Hobbs, Kerry L. Holden, Carel IJsselmuiden, Ayodele Samuel Jegede, Snezana B. Krstic, Jean-Marie Mbonyintwali, Sisay Derso Mengesha, Tomas Michalek, Hiroshi Nagano, Michael Nentwich, Ali Nouri, Peter Dithan Ntale, Olusegun M. Ogundele, Jude Tochukwu Omenma, Louis-François Pau, Jon M. Peha, Elizabeth M. Prescott, Irene Ramos-Vielba, Raimundo Roberts, Paul A. Sandifer, Marc Albert Saner, Edmond Sanganyado, Maruf Sanni, Orlando Santillán, Deborah D. Stine, Miron L. Straf, Peter Tangney, Carla-Leanne Washbourne, Wim Winderickx & Masaru Yarime

Palgrave Communications: Volume 5, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online17/09/2019
Date accepted by journal28/08/2019
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

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Professor Paul Cairney

Professor Paul Cairney

Professor, Politics