The need for evidence and values-informed policy making: the case for public engagement




Bernier, Roger H.

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We are living in a very angry and divisive time in our national life. The polarization is preventing us from reaching agreements about needed solutions to important and urgent public problems, including many public health challenges. Examples are disagreements about how best to lower obesity rates, respond to climate change, achieve gun control, provide vaccinations on time, screen appropriately for prostate and breast cancer, and many others. We are failing to translate our investments in research into useful policy actions, and public health is severely diminished because of it. Such policy disagreements can persist despite the existence of a large body of compelling evidence for action. The stalemates reveal that data alone are insufficient to produce effective and sustainable solutions to public health problems. Such solutions must take into consideration both facts and core public values, yet we have no established methods for uncovering relevant public values and working through values differences on science policy issues. A more team-oriented vision of science and policy development is needed that can produce the meaningful exchanges between scientists and members of the affected populations which can lead in turn to effective translation of research into policy and practice.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013; noon to 1 p.m.; Room D1.602. "The Need for Evidence and Values-Informed Policy Making: The Case for Public Engagement". Roger H. Bernier, Ph.D., M.P.H., Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Georgia.

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