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Science in Policymaking: Understanding the Use of Science in Migration Policy


When: Monday, 25 October 2021, 13:00-14:30 CET

Political decision making often relies on scientific evidence and expert knowledge to make good choices. However, under conditions of the increasing complexity of policy issues, time pressure, public expectations and institutional constraints, identifying the best available knowledge is challenging. 


Key Questions

How do policy makers and actors involved in policymaking make sense and use science in their daily routines? How do they collect the information they need to make decisions – internally and externally? How do they decide on which experts to trust and from which disciplinary backgrounds? Are there institutional guidelines facilitating or hindering science-related action? And what role does media and particularly digital media play in that regard – as a source of information but also disinformation? In this workshop, we want to shed light on science information and communication habits by different actors involved in policymaking. Moreover, we are interested in institutional strategies for improving evidence-informed policymaking.


High-level policy expert meetings

The workshop will take place online via Zoom, following the well-established format of a high-level policy expert meeting. In the beginning, a lightning talk ‘Revisiting science-policy communication in a digital media environment’ will be given by Dr Birte Fähnrich (Adjunct Professor - Privatdozentin - at the Freie Universität Berlin and Scientific Coordinator at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) and Prof. Dr Ortwin Renn (Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam). Secondly, a selected group of high-level experts on migration issues will discuss this topic based on a number of questions that will be sent to them in advance. In the third part, the audience will be invited to submit questions via the Q&A function. Lastly, each of the experts will give a short statement of 1-2 minutes about their ‘lessons learned’: What is needed to improve science-related information practices?



Stakeholders from public policy, international organisations and researchers working on migration issues will be invited to this event to share their insights and experiences. Around 10-15 experts will be invited.



Daniela Vono de Vilhena, deputy executive secretary of Population Europe and coordinator of dissemination activities at the H2020 project ‘Quantifying migration scenarios for better policy’.


Your Input

As a participant in this debate, you would be invited to contribute with your insights and experience, but you will not have to prepare a presentation or talk. We just hope for your engaged contributions to the discussion, as outlined above.


Data Protection

The event will be held online as a public Zoom webinar. Our license is compliant with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For more information regarding data protection and zoom, click here.


Livestream & Recording

We would like to ask you for your explicit consent that (1) the event will be streamed live for broader audiences and (2) the recording of the event will be uploaded to the Population Europe’s YouTube channel.


Keynote Speakers

Birte Fähnrich is Adjunct Professor - Privatdozentin - at the Freie Universität Berlin and Scientific Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Research Group 'Implications of Digitization for the Quality of Science Communication' at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Principle Investigator of the EU-funded project RETHINK. Before, she was elected speaker of the Science Communication Section of the German Communication Association DGPuK and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology PCST. She has edited handbooks and special issues on science and university communication and has published a range of papers on communication at the intersection of science and politics.

Ortwin Renn is scientific director at the International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam (Germany) and professor for environmental sociology and technology assessment at the University and Stuttgart. He also directs the non-profit company.


Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.