Effectively bridging the worlds of science and policymaking requires us to first recognise and honour the differences between them. This is more important than ever in our current “post-truth” era, in which objective facts appear to have lost weight to the emotional appeal of fake news and identity politics.
In our second “”CBF meets Science”” interview, Prof. Cornelia Woll, President of the Hertie School, talks about the “”raison d’être”” of governance schools today and their positioning at the science-policy nexus. In her conversation with Julia Stamm, Cornelia highlights the importance of distinguishing between the role of scientific research in establishing evidence over a long-term time span, and the role of politics and policymaking in deciding what to do with such evidence, framed by certain values, shorter term decision cycles and considerations of feasibility. Only with this distinction clear and respected is it possible to develop suitable structures and spaces for dialogue and exchange between the scientific and political spheres, effective translation across disciplines, and a basis of mutual trust. Cornelia also discusses the absence of social science insights into pandemic responses and provides compelling insights into the varying perceptions of the importance of researchers, scientific evidence and policy-making in Germany, France and the US.