Where do we go from here?

Governments, publishers, and the public, oh my! We’re on a winding road of impact, and if we want research to influence real-world change, we’ve got to find friends along the way. Featuring Kirsty Duncan, P.C., M.P., Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, Jay Flynn, Chief Product Officer from Wiley, and Valorie Aquino, an anthropological archaeologist and Executive Director and co-founder of the March for Science.

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Kirsty Duncan, P.C., M.P., Minister of Science and Sport for Canada

As Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport, it’s Kirsty’s job to make sure that research is brought to the table for every discussion the cabinet has. She started her career as a researcher, but once she realized that evidence was not always a priority for governments, she decided to run for office. On her first day in office she reinstated the long-form census so the Canadian government would have the data it needed to make decisions, and then she put a new communications policy in place that encourages scientists to speak to the public and the media. Investing in research isn’t cheap, but it is important to Kirsty to have science embedded into the machine of politics.

Death of Evidence, Nature
Scientists stage mock funeral to protest cuts to research

Jay Flynn, Chief Product Officer at Wiley

Jay might work in publishing, but he isn’t convinced that the journal article is the best format for what we do. He says we need to give authors and researchers the tools they need to write for the internet, not for a printed artifact that many people read online anyway! We need to focus more on the social and human impact of the work researchers produce, and push the limits about the best ways we can share science with each other and with the public. For Jay, the publisher’s role is to amplify the impact of research, whether that means working with the media or posting on Twitter, or—as we’re seeing more and more—whether that means openness and transparency. Publishers need to figure out how to listen to researchers and provide the tools they need to make sharing easy and impact greater.

Hundreds of extreme self-citing scientists revealed in new database, Nature
Projekt DEAL

Valorie Aquino, Executive Director and co-founder of the March for Science

When Valorie stumbled into a Facebook group about the March for Science, she could never have predicted what would have happened when she volunteered to help. She was excited at the prospect of championing science for the common good at what became the largest scientific integrity march in world history. The March for Science resonated around the world from a global pattern of leaders around the world using misinformation to hold onto power. Valorie says the March is an opportunity to create more lasting relationships and communication between science and the public. The goal is public engagement, which starts with better communication, and leads to an informed society that is essential for democracy.

March for Science