Tag Archives: evidence based policy

Scientific Evidence about vaccines and the EU Court

A controversial European Union court decision about vaccines raises two interesting scientific questions: How do scientists decide whether vaccines can cause conditions such as autism or multiple sclerosis? And how certain can they be when they make their conclusions? Recently news outlets ran headlines saying that the highest court of the European Union ruled, “Vaccines can be blamed for illnesses without proof” or “without scientific evidence.” But the EU court decision is a bit more complex than the headlines claim. In this piece of investigative journalism, Vanessa Schipani examines the case. Read more [...]
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ECSJ2017: Science Communication 5.0

EuroScientist is delighted to be able to share some of the discussions which took part during the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists in Copenhagen between 26th and 30th June 2017. They touched upon the evolving nature of science communication, how scientists are engaging with the public and issues related to evidence-based policy making. We would like to invite you to comment on individual articles using the dialogue box below each of the articles to continue the conversation. Read more [...]
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Unbiased reporting can help call time on pseudoscience

In July 2013, a 21-year-old man died of leukaemia in the Spanish city of Valencia. Mario chose to dismiss his doctor’s advice, turned to a so-called expert in 'natural and orthomolecular medicine' and abandoned chemotherapy, choosing instead to fight his illness with alternative medicine. Mario was not, as some might conclude, an uneducated young man who did not know better. He was studying to become a physicist, but even this background did not prevent his believing a charlatan's claims. Tragedies like this beg the question: What can journalism do to better encourage trust in scientific evidence? The 4th European Conference for Science Journalists hel on 26 to 30 June 2017 aimed to answer such questions in a series of sessions that examine the roles of policymakers, citizens, scientists, and science journalists in making scientific facts great again. Read more [...]
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Policy making manifesto: squaring science with the human factor

EuroScientist publishes in exclusivity the Brussels Declaration on ethics & principles for science & society policy-making, launched on 17th February 2017 at the AAAS meeting. This document outlines a set of 20 principles related to the ethics and the mechanisms through which scientific evidence is taken into account as part of the policy making process for issues relevant to science and society. This declaration proposes a dramatic shift in the way scientific evidence informs policy. It suggests integrating the views of practitioners in relevant fields, thus instilling a bottom-up approach to the policy making process. This is in sharp contrast with the existing top down policy making principles. Find out more in this op-ed written exclusively for EuroScientist by some of the authors of the Brussels Declaration. Read more [...]
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Mark Ferguson: defending the cause of science

Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs) play a unique role in countries that have them, like Ireland, the UK, the Czech Republic and New Zealand. Here, EuroScientist explores the nature of the science adviser's role, in an exclusive interview with Mark Ferguson, CSA to the Irish Government. A timely read, as the European Commission just announced the name of the members of its high-level group of scientific advisers, as part of the new EU scientific advice mechanism. Read more [...]
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Evidence-based safety science is nigh

To date, most toxicology tests have not been validated but they are still mandated by regulatory agencies. The question is to find suitable ways of modernising toxicology testing in the 21st century in a structured, consistent, transparent way. In this article, Thomas Hartung, Founder Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration (EBTC), at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues, examine what remains to be done to address the mounting pressure exerted on industries and food and drug regulators worldwide to bring their decision-making process up-to-date with modern science. This calls for the use of a rigorous appraisal of the value of past studies under the umbrella of what has been dubbed evidence-based medicine (EBM), to be adapted in toxicology, to guarantee the safety of drug and consumer products. Read more [...]
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Do drug programs really work?

Drugs are a modern plague. It is difficult to develop effective policies and programmes based on objective evidence. Indeed,the evidence base for prevention programmes is rather patchy. Françoise Dubois-Arber, from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUSMP) at Lausanne University Hospital, in Switzerland, shares her views on what works and what does not, when it comes to drug prevention programmes. Read more [...]
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