50 Years On: The 1970 SS Arrow Oil Spill in Nova Scotia’s Coastal Waters – Science and Decision Making in an Environmental Emergency

On 4 February 1970, the oil tanker SS Arrow ran aground on the rocks of Chedabucto Bay on Nova Scotia’s east coast and four days later about two thirds of the 14,700 ton cargo of Bunker C oil spilled into the Bay. Recently, I collaborated with two Department of Fisheries and Oceans-Bedford Institute of Oceanography […]

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Evidence-Informed Decision Making: A Timely Graduate Course

The scheduling of the graduate course, “Information in Public Policy and Decision Making,” offered by the Dalhousie University School of Information Management could hardly be more timely or important. Troubling as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, as the virus infiltrated countries and caused havoc around the globe, it presented an exceptional case for students to […]

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Improving Use of Research-Based Information in Policy Contexts

The importance of evidence-informed decision-making is being recognized more and more within the broader scientific and political landscape. For critical issues like climate change, well-informed and structured policies can bring substantial progress to current and future mitigation and adaptation strategies. This awareness has resulted in increased efforts to design science-policy engagement strategies and best practices […]

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Challenges in Measuring the Use and Influence of Research-Based Information

Conducting research and producing reports are important pursuits, but they are only some of the activities found in research-to-policy processes. When data have been collected, analysed, and reports prepared, the next step, namely, communication, can be fraught with challenges that can impede use of the research. Some studies are conducted to address questions posed directly […]

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Enablers and Barriers in the Communication of Research Information for Policy Development

The development of meaningful policies is dependent on effective communication of research-based information and evidence from scientists and other researchers to policymakers. Poor communication of research-based information can have serious consequences for environmental management. This post explores factors that enable and prevent the communication of research-based information into public policy contexts, including language, accessibility of […]

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New EIUI Study: Information Source and Channel Preference in Marine Policy Development

Humans are currently experiencing an information overload. We are bombarded with information from the moment we start our day; texts from friends, social media updates, and news headlines stream into our consciousness at an unprecedented volume. Of course, this deluge has associated costs and benefits. On the one hand, we are better connected and better […]

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Pathways and Models: Recent Literature on Communication of Research Information

A gap in the flow of information often exists between science and policy. This gap commonly occurs in the science-policy interface. Many social processes and components may exist at the interface in order to bridge information flow. Within the interface, a complex meshwork of models (about knowledge transfer, science-policy advice, influence), pathways, and organizations can […]

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New EIUI Paper: Environmental NGOs Deploy Information Strategies at the Science-Policy Interface for Marine Conservation

Scientists and policy makers alike are increasingly interested in participatory forms of governance. Recent research has found that when non-state actors are involved in the processes of environmental policy-making an opportunity is presented to strengthen the uptake of information, and improve the credibility, legitimacy and relevance of decisions. Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) are an important, […]

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