The Centre for Biodiversity Analysis hosted an engagement and dialogue workshop for research providers (scientists) and research users (policy makers and managers) on the interface of evolutionary biology and policy impact.
The two-day workshop aimed to address the gap between academic research, where the majority of new biodiversity data is generated, analysed and interpreted and the current and future needs of practical policy development and real-world management. The workshop also considered the 'push and pull' dilemma information agenda setting that often shapes the relationship between researchers and policy makers.
The value of incorporating the concepts and tools of evolutionary biology into environmental policy development and decision-making was universally accepted, for example in understanding species responses to climate change and for habitat restoration and species translocations.
Challenges, such as accessibility of scientific information by policy makers and mangers, and the lack of a reward system for scientists who engage with policy and management, were discussed.
Future engagement strategies were jointly developed, such as Conversation/Decision Point articles, policy keywords and definitions for evolutionary biology publications, case study-based fact sheets for policy and management and an evolutionary biology vision statement.
The interface of evolutionary biology and policy impact: workshop report (PDF 5.98MB)
Decision Point article: Evolutionary biology - what is it good for?