Micro to macro and species to society – lessons learnt at the science and policy interface

Vaughan, Duncan (2024) Micro to macro and species to society – lessons learnt at the science and policy interface. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The science-policy interface (SPI) comprises the processes that encompass relationships between scientists and others in policy development, which allows for discussion of knowledge and consideration of evidence with the aim of improving decision making. Development of effective responses to the climate and biodiversity crises at the scale and pace required will necessitate scientists, policy officials, politicians, and managers to effectively interact, co-design, communicate, and deliver these responses, i.e. work effectively at the SPI.

This thesis sets out the nature and impact of a body of work conducted by the author in fulfilment of a PhD by Publication. Critical analysis of the work tracks the author’s career development from early-career scientist to senior government policy advisor. The work follows a trajectory of focus from the micro (species) to macro (policy development) level. The influence of the work is considered, and for the more recent research, recommendations on how the work can be progressed are set out.

The body of work completed at the SPI has principally influenced scientific understanding and policy development with regards to how marine resources, including species, habitats and space itself, should be used and managed for the benefit of wider society. Critical analysis highlighted that the prevailing SPI model could be modified to incorporate an additional component – the knowledge exchange between stakeholders considering the effects of management.

The time span of the work, varying focus of the publications considered and various positions held by the author have enabled, following reflection and consideration of the critical analysis, the identification of nine elements key to maximising effectiveness when working at the SPI: challenge, empathise, identify governance and knowledge gaps, network, collaborate with international experts, understand politics, develop trust of decision makers, communicate and persevere. These elements can help those working at the SPI influence commissioning and contribute to science that informs and influences policy decisions to deliver environmental outcomes and progress nature recovery.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Publication
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2024 13:37
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2024 13:37
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95595


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