Who are policymakers, and what do they think?

I was part of a group of researchers who wanted to communicate our science with policymakers. To do this, we came together in a SciComm workshop at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, to discuss who policymakers are, and how they perceive our science. We recorded our thoughts in this article. This is a researcher’s perspective from South Africa, and is now published in the South African Journal of Science ready for anybody to read.

The article is best summarised in Figure 1 below, where we show that we think research is perceived by policymakers as inaccessible, complex, expensive, long and not scalable.  I now want to showcase this South African perception and ask researchers and policymakers to respond to us- do you agree that this is who policymakers are? Whether it’s yes, no, or more complicated than that, we want to hear from you.

We hope that by presenting this article, we will capture the attention of policymakers and researchers alike. By collecting thoughts from both parties, we can understand what the perceptions are on both sides, and better connect the two. A great place to start is by sharing and responding to our article, and answering the question “do you agree that this is what policymakers think?”, and thereafter we can connect the dots.

Share your thoughts – Do you agree that this is what policymakers think?

You can also contact me on Twitter @ZoologyMolly or at zoologymolly@gmail.com with your thoughts!

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