The Palgrave Communications Collection on Scientific Advice to Governments is guest edited by Sir Peter Gluckman (Former-Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand & Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice) and Professor James Wilsdon (Professor of Research Policy, Department of Politics and Director of Impact and Engagement, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK).

Scientific advice to governments has never been in greater demand; nor has it been more contested. From climate change to cyber-security, poverty to pandemics, food technologies to fracking, the questions being asked of scientists, engineers and other experts by policymakers, the media and the wider public continue to multiply and increase in complexity. At the same time, the authority and legitimacy of experts are under increasing scrutiny, particularly on controversial topics, such as climate change and genetically modified crops.

This thematic collection brings together perspectives on the theory, practice and politics of scientific advice that build on the conclusions of the landmark conference in Auckland in August 2014, which led to the creation of the INGSA. Additional papers will be published over the coming months, including papers from other relevant Palgrave Collections, such as The politics of evidence-based policymaking: maximising the use of evidence in policy, edited by Professor Paul Cairney.


  1. Trouble in the trough: how uncertainties were downplayed in the UK’s science advice on Covid-19, Warren Pearce, Oct 2020
  2. Designing inter-regional engagement to inform cohesive policy making. Robin Fears, Claudia Canales Holzeis & Volker ter Meulen – 3rd June 2020
  3. Tapping into science advisers’ learning. Noam Obermeister – 29th April 2020
  4. Integrating health into the complex urban planning policy and decision-making context: a systems thinking analysis. Helen Pineo, Nici Zimmermann & Michael Davies 
  5. Creating and communicating social research for policymakers in government. Jessica H. Phoenix, Lucy G. Atkinson & Hannah Baker 
  6. A collaboratively derived international research agenda on legislative science advice. Karen Akerlof, Chris Tyler et al
  7. The dos and don’ts of influencing policy: a systematic review of advice to academics. Kathryn Oliver & Paul Cairney
  8. Elements of success in multi-stakeholder deliberation platforms. Jennifer Garard, Larissa Koch & Martin Kowarsch
  9. The construction of new scientific norms for solving Grant Challenges. Kate Maxwell & Paul Benneworth
  10. Integrating evidence, politics and society: a methodology for the science-policy interface. Peter Horton & Garrett W. Brown
  11. From paradox to principles: where next for scientific advice to governments? Peter Gluckman & James Wilsdon
  12. Legislative science advice in Europe: the case for international comparative research. Caroline Kenny, Carla-Leanne Washbourne, Chris Tyler & Jason J. Blackstock
  13. How to communicate effectively with policymakers: combine insights from psychology and policy studies. Paul Cairney & Richard Kwiatkowski
  14. Storytelling and evidence-based policy: lessons from the grey literature. Brett Davidson
  15. Maximising the availability and use of high-quality evidence for policymaking: collaborative, targeted and efficient evidence reviews. Anna Gavine, Steve MacGillivray, Mary Ross-Davie, Kirstie Campbell, Linda White & Mary Renfrew
  16. How can we use the ‘science of stories’ to produce persuasive scientific stories? Michael D. Jones & 
    Deserai Anderson Crow
  17. Three lessons from evidence-based medicine and policy: increase transparency, balance inputs and understand power. Kathryn Oliver & Warren Pearce
  18. Insights from ‘policy learning’ on how to enhance the use of evidence by policymakers. Antje Witting

  19. Evolving academic culture to meet societal needs. Kateryna Wowk, Larry McKinney, Frank Muller-Karger, Russell Moll, Susan Avery, Elva Escobar-Briones, David Yoskowitz & Richard McLaughlin
  20. Rethinking policy ‘impact’: four models of research policy relations. Christina Boswell & Katherine Smith
  21. How can we demonstrate the public value of evidence-based policy making when government ministers declare that the people ‘have had enough of experts’? Leighton Andrews

  22. Evaluation of the quality of science, technology and innovation advice available to lawmakers in Nigeria Maruf Sanni, Omolayo Oluwatope, Adedamola Adeyeye & Abiodun Egbetokun
  23. Scientific assessments to facilitate deliberative policy learning Martin Kowarsch, Jennifer Garard, Pauline Riousset, Dominic Lenzi, Marcel J. Dorsch, Brigitte Knopf, Jan-Albrecht Harrs & Ottmar Edenhofer
  24. Providing a “challenge function”: Government social researchers in the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (2010–2015) Michael Kattirtzi
  25. Temporal and spatial dimensions in the management of scientific advice to governments Marc Saner
  26. Exploring the science–policy interface on climate change: The role of the IPCC in informing local decision-making in the UK Candice Howarth & James Painter
  27. Reflections on science advisory systems in Canada Remi Quirion, Arthur Carty, Paul Dufour & Ramia Jabr
  28. The Rothschild report (1971) and the purpose of government-funded R&D—a personal account Miles Parker
  29. Scientific advice in China: the changing role of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Xiaoxuan Li, Kejia Yang & Xiaoxi Xiao
  30. Exploring the scope of science advice: social sciences in the UK government Adam CG Cooper
  31. Scientific advice on the move: the UK mobile phone risk issue as a public experiment Jack Stilgoe
  32. The evolving role of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in providing science and technology policy advice to the US government Peter D Blair
  33. Five years after Fukushima: scientific advice in Japan Yasushi Sato & Tateo Arimoto
  34. Revealing a paradox in scientific advice to governments: the struggle between modernist and reflexive logics within the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency Eva-Maria Kunseler
  35. Science, technology and innovation indicators in policy-making: the Nigerian experience Willie Siyanbola, Adedamola Adeyeye, Olawale Olaopa & Omowumi Hassan
  36. Ensuring science is useful, usable and used in global disaster risk reduction and sustainable development: a view through the Sendai framework lens Amina Aitsi-Selmi, Kevin Blanchard & Virginia Murray