Why science matters for policy

This talk is co-hosted by the Oxford Martin School, University College & Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, and is a continuation of the Trinity Term Series ‘Science and Populism: from evidence to narrative’.

Science informs the work of government. This is becoming more important than ever, as we deal with the deep social transformations brought about by current technological developments, including automation and the data revolution, and prepare for further step changes, for instance quantum computing and synthetic biology.

These are changing the context within which policy is made. They create new challenges and opportunities for scientists, both inside and outside government, to make themselves heard in debates where their contributions are most relevant.

These developments have implications for policy makers and how they should interact with scientists, but also for the citizen. Science must be of the people, by the people and for the people, with diversity of background, culture, ideas and thought, if we are to tackle the problems that matter to society.