Supporting a particular campaign is another way of engaging with science policy

Leonor Sierra, international science and policy manager at Sense about Science explains what they do and how to get involved

Sense About Science is a UK charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims. We work in partnership with scientific bodies, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence. Through award-winning campaigns, we share the tools of scientific thinking and scrutiny. Our growing international Voice of Young Science network engages hundreds of early career researchers in public debates about research and evidence.

Sense About Science responds to hundreds of requests for independent advice and questions on scientific evidence every year. When we are constantly fire-fighting on a particular issue we work with scientists and members of the public to draw out the underlying assumptions and address misconceptions, as in our Making Sense of guides on, for example, radiation, GM and climate. Underpinning much of what we do are programmes to promote general understanding of scientific evidence, such as use of statistics, the process of peer review and how to design a fair test to see whether medicines work.

Our campaigns involve wide collaboration across society to make a permanent difference across all areas of our work and to create an environment that supports open public discussion about scientific research, free from intimidation, hysteria and political pressure. Recently they have included making the case for libel reform and, together with the Campaign for Science and Engineering and the scientific community, persuading the Government to include the Principles for the Treatment of Independent Scientific Advice into the Ministerial Code in 2010.

To do all of this we call on our database of over 5,000 specialists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, and hundreds of community, civic and scientific groups who give their time and support to our efforts. Visit our website, and find out how you can work with us, by getting involved in our campaigns or offering your help and expertise.

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