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  • Publication
    Making sense of Science for policy under conditions of complexity and uncertainty
    Making sense of science for policy is an unusual title for an evidence review report. The term ‘sense-making’ is clearly related to interpretation and cannot be covered without reference to individual or social judgements. In short, what makes sense to one person may not make any sense at all to another. While there are, in each society, shared understandings of what certain phenomena mean, there is no universal arbiter who would be able to distinguish between ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ sense-making. What is more, the nature of what science can offer to policymakers depends on the basic understanding and shared concepts of mandate, validity, reliability and relevance of scientific statements in the respective policy arena. As much as empirical studies can describe and classify different models and procedures of how scientific advice has been brought into policymaking arenas, they cannot provide conclusive evidence of which model of science advice has worked more effectively, or even better than another. Such a judgement would imply that there are objective success or failure criteria by which scientists could measure the degree to which a specific criterion has been met. However, this is not the case.