Science and public policy

Robust scientific evidence is a fundamental element of sound policy making. How does science informs decision-making processes? What hinders the mechanisms of evidence-informed policy? How can the obstacles be overcome?

Scientific arguments and evidence and their effects on the public policy process depend on how well the constellations of actors address stakeholders, the creation and maintenance of coalitions, the costs and benefits of alternative solutions, as well as more subtle variables such as the categorization of policy problems (problem definition) and the choice of the appropriate forum – a parliamentary committee or a citizens’ assembly are two different fora with their own rules of the game and payoffs.


The game set is designed on basis of cases where a policy entrepreneur is tasked to shape policy via scientific evidence. Our game set blends real-world cases with occasional fictional twists to make important pedagogical points about the strategy of advancing the role of science in public policy decisions.


This strategic policy entrepreneur of our games operates by reformulating the problem, mapping and changing the coalition of stakeholders, addressing or changing the correct arena for decisions, and using or not using mass mobilization and politicization of scientific issues.

The strategies blend scientific communication with human right issues, showing how scientific evidence can also bring about an improvement of human rights when applied correctly to public decisions in domains like assisted death.

The set thus considers a variety of strategies, including Gandhian civil disobedience for science, thus bringing innovation to the classic range of science communication and science impact strategies. Another important pedagogical dimension is to make the participants aware of the ambiguities and unforeseen contingencies one encounters when advocating for science – policy controversies arising from the the consequences of tobacco regulation are used pedagogically to make this particular point.

The cases:

Case 1.              Right to science EU agency

Case 2.              Assisted dying (euthanasia)

Case 3.              Psychedelics

Case 4.              Facial recognition

Case 5.              Tobacco regulation