Use of science in public policy: Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic efforts to ‘Follow the Science’

Paper by Barry Bozeman: “The paper asks: ‘What can we learn from COVID-19 pandemic about effective use of scientific and technical information (STI) in policymaking and how might the lessons be put to use?’ The paper employs the political rhetoric of ‘follow the science’ as a lens for examining contemporary concerns in the use of STI, including (1) ‘Breadth of Science Products’, the necessity of a broader concept of STI that includes by-products science, (2) ‘Science Dynamism’, emphasizing the uncertainty and impeachability of science, (3) ‘STI Urgency’ suggesting that STI use during widespread calamities differs from more routine applications, and (4) ‘Hyper-politicization of Science’, arguing that a step-change in the contentiousness of politics affects uses and misuses of STI. The paper concludes with a discussion, STI Curation, as a possible ingredient to improving effective use. With more attention to credibility and trust of STI and to the institutional legitimacy of curators, it should prove possible to improve the effective use of STI in public policy….(More)”.