Scientific advisers as guardians of responsible policy-making

Scientific advisers as guardians of responsible policy-making

Friday, 28 February 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:45pm
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Venue: 
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HR
Speaker(s): 
Dr Lieve Van Woensel (Head of the Scientific Foresight Service at the European Parliamentary Research Service)
Chair: 
Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis (European Studies Centre, St Antony's, Oxford)
Series: 
European Studies Seminar

Book launch: ‘A Bias Radar for Responsible Policy-making. Foresight-Based Scientific Advice’

‘A Bias Radar for Responsible Policy-making. Foresight-Based Scientific Advice’ is a Palgrave book within the St Antony's Series, in which Dr Van Woensel addresses policy advice processes for parliaments, with a focus on science and technology related issues. Her tips for preparing trustworthy foresight-based policy advice are applicable to other policy matters.
Policy-makers prepare society for the future. Policy advisers can give substantial support to parliaments and politicians by preparing them pro-active, future-proof policy advice. 
Lieve Van Woensel addresses the corner stones for such an advice mechanism to be impartial, evidence-based, transparent and future-proof, while taking into account all actors in the relevant ecosystem and their biases, in sum, to be trustworthy. And this for policy-makers as well the overall society. Lieve Van Woensel focuses on the necessity of careful balancing evidence and the societal views and opinions when informing policy. She advocates a foresight-based concept for scientific advice that bases policy advice on more than scientific evidence by considering societal views as well as policies’ potential effects on society and the environment. She explains how to make scientific advisory strategies holistic, zooming out to the broad picture of the problem and identifying the relevant sources of input, stakeholders, influences and related policies. She draws attention to the variety of roles and responsibilities for the various actors, including scientists, policy analysts, policymakers NGOs and other stakeholders. She developed a practical toolkit for policy advisers to anticipate possible future developments in addressing policy issues. 


Dr Lieve Van Woensel is a foresight expert with a broad scientific background. She has worked for over 30 years at the science-policy interface, and was the EU Visiting Fellow at the European Studies Centre of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, UK, 2017-2018. After her master in physics (KULeuven, Belgium), she obtained her PhD in Sciences with research in the area of agriculture. Her studies included climatology and music technology (Open University, UK). Further, she has a degree in Business Administration (Vlerick Business School, KULeuven) and attended the Oxford Scenarios Programme (Saïd Business School). Currently heading the Scientific Foresight Service within the European Parliamentary Research Service, she monitors techno-scientific trends, develops science-policy analyses of future developments in science and technology and analyses how policy can anticipate the impact of technologies on citizens’ lives. She is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists, the World Futures Studies Federation, the World Future Society, the Dutch Future Society and she appears on the ‘List of the world’s top female futurists’. 


To register to attend in advance of the event, please email: european.studies@sant.ox.ac.uk