The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York hosted its third annual public seminar that asked: “Does anyone listen? Can science deliver the evidence policy makers need?”
The panel was chaired by Dr Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director of SEI, and comprised of Professor Ian Boyd, Defra’s Chief Scientific Advisor; Andreas Carlgren former Swedish Environment Minister; Professor András Szöllösi-Nagy, Rector of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water; Dr Lisa Emberson, Director of SEI at the University of York.
– Ian Boyd is Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and has a background in ecology and polar research. He became the Chief Scientific Advisor in 2012 providing scientific evidence advice for UK policy development to government ministers.
– Andreas Carlgren was Sweden’s Environment minister from 2006 to 2011. At a speech in 2011 he said: “Decision-makers must listen to the science community, in order to define the safe operating space of the Earths planetary boundaries.”
– Hungarian András Szöllösi-Nagy has a background in water science and has lectured on hydrology all over the world. He promotes the need to improve our management of water under climate change.
– Lisa Emberson became Director the York centre of SEI in 2012. She has over 15 years’ experience in the field of air pollution focussing on the effects of pollution and climate change on food production and forests.
– Johan Kuylenstierna has a background in water and previously worked as Chief Technical Advisor to the Chair of UN-Water, based at the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome.
Seminar coordinator, Steve Cinderby from SEI at the University of York said:
“Research undertaken by environmental scientists is increasingly focussed on delivering information, ‘evidence’, to help guide decision makers when choosing what actions to take. From global issues like climate change to national concerns such as managing tree diseases our scientific knowledge is being presented to decision makers to help them take actions… But are we doing enough? Are we presenting the right information in the most useful ways? Could we do things better – or are policy makers now so overwhelmed with information that they have stopped listening?”