EU Agencies: Assisting policymakers navigate scientific uncertainty
The EU Agency Network for Scientific Advice (EU ANSA) comprises EU agencies that address a wide range of topics, from social to physical sciences. All agencies in the network collate and appraise scientific evidence, integrate current knowledge and communicate it in order to support evidence-based EU policymaking.
EU ANSA has published a report on how EU agencies assess and manage scientific uncertainty in the evidence base where empirical evidence is limited, or where full confidence in the available science to address policy needs is lacking. The report aims to provide a basis to identify common themes and issues, and stimulate further thinking about the definition, identification and communication of scientific uncertainty. The report seeks to ensure that policymakers better understand the strength of the evidence presented, and that resulting policy is made on the basis of fully informed choice. Clarifying uncertainty facilitates judgement and can also provide an understanding of the importance of knowledge gaps in relation to the topic; this understanding can then be used to prioritise future research.