Literature Connections for BI Projects with Government/Policy Makers

References for rationale or as background to prepare to work with these audiences.

  1. Hetherington ED and Phillips AA (2020). A Scientist's Guide for Engaging in Policy in the United States. Front. Mar. Sci. 7:409.

    While interest in science policy among researchers has substantially increased in recent decades, traditional academic and research careers rarely provide formal training or exposure to the inner workings of government, public policy, or communicating scientific findings to broad audiences. This guide offers 10 practical steps for scientists who want to engage in science policy efforts, with a focus on state and federal policy in the United States.

  2. Wells, W.G. (2011). Working with Congress: A practical guide for scientists and engineers. (3rd ed.) Washington, DC: AAAS.

    Working with Congress: A Scientist's Guide to Policy, produced by the AAAS Office of Government Relations, provides detailed information on congressional procedures and history. Now in its third edition, the guide emphasizes practical advice on developing and maintaining constructive relationships with lawmakers, their staff members, and other science policy advisers in Washington, D.C.

  3. Ecological Society of America. (2007, January 02). Communicating with Legislative Policymakers Tip Sheet. Retrieved from

    This website provides helpful tips on dealing with legislative offices, including practices for written communication and meetings, keeping updated on science related legislation, and important rules for working with Congress.

  4. Lackey, R. (2007). Science, Scientists, and Policy Advocacy. Conservation Biology, 21(1), 12-17. Retrieved August 25, 2020, from

    This interesting essay discusses and debates what is the appropriate role of scientists in policy making? How does a scientist balance their own values and preference with the technical and scientific aspects of the ecological issue.

  5. Choi BCK, Pang T, Lin V, et al. (2005). Can scientists and policy makers work together? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 59:632-637.

    This article provides some suggested solutions include providing new incentives to encourage scientists and policy makers to work together, using knowledge brokers (translational scientists), making organizational changes, defining research in a broader sense, re-defining the starting point for knowledge transfer, expanding the accountability horizon, and finally, acknowledging the complexity of policy making.

  6. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2015). Trust and Confidence at the Interfaces of the Life Sciences and Society: Does the Public Trust Science? A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    Does the public trust science? Scientists? Scientific organizations? What roles do trust and the lack of trust play in public debates about how science can be used to address such societal concerns as childhood vaccination, cancer screening, and a warming planet? What could happen if social trust in science or scientists faded?

  7. Boardman, P. (2009). Government centrality to university-industry interactions: University research centers and the industry involvement of academic researchers. Research Policy, 38(10), 1505-1516.

    This paper uses data from a national survey of academic researchers in the US to detect how different types of university research centers affect individual-level university-industry interactions. The results suggest that while affiliation with an industry-related center correlates positively with the likelihood of an academic researcher having had any research-related interactions with private companies, affiliation with centers sponsored by government centers programs correlates positively with the level of industry involvement, no matter whether these centers additionally have ties to private companies. The analysis takes the "scientific and technical human capital" approach, which draws from theories of social capital and human capital and proves useful for framing the institutional and resource-based perspectives that characterize much of the literature on university-industry interactions. The scientific and technical human capital approach is taken because its emphasis on the research capacities of individual academic researchers provides a more direct explanation of government centrality to academic researchers' industry involvement than provide either the resource-based or institutional views. Implications for policy and management as well as for future applications of the scientific and technical human capital approach are discussed.

These references are examples around scholarship in BI in with STEM researchers working in government.

  1. Stoutenborough, J., Bromley-Trujillo, R., & Vedlitz, A. (2015). How to win friends and influence people: Climate scientists' perspectives on their relationship with and influence on government officials. Journal of Public Policy, 35(2), 269-296.

    The ability of scientists and policymakers to work together has important implications for policy outcomes. This paper explores individual scientist's perceptions of the collective influence the scientific community has on policymaking, in addition to perceptions of relationships between scientists and policymakers. A number of factors including trust, contact, attitudes, specialization and demographics are relevant and play a significant role in shaping relationships.

  2. National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine (2010). Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited provides a snapshot of the work of the government and the private sector in the past five years, analyzing how the original recommendations have or have not been acted upon, what consequences this may have on future competitiveness, and priorities going forward. In addition, readers will find a series of thought- and discussion-provoking factoids--many of them alarming--about the state of science and innovation in America.

  3. Bieluch, K.H., Bell, K.P., Teisl, M.F. et al. (2017). Transdisciplinary research partnerships in sustainability science: an examination of stakeholder participation preferences. Sustain Sci., 12, 87-104.

    This article discusses how building partnerships is a complex process requiring an understanding of social, psychological, and contextual variables. The authors explore local government officials' (LGOs') preferences for participation in research partnerships. Using data from a statewide survey, they explain a theoretically and empirically derived model to test the relationship between a suite of factors and LGOs' preferred transdisciplinary partnership style.

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