From Science Communication to Knowledge Brokering: the Shift from 'Science Push' to 'Policy Pull'

From Science Communication to Knowledge Brokering: the Shift from 'Science Push' to 'Policy Pull'

Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsCampbell, CAndrew, Shaxson, L, Bielak, AT, Pope, S, Shaefer, K
Book TitleCommunicating Science in Social Contexts
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
KeywordsDEFRA, Environment Canada, External, ‘bic C’ and ‘little c’ science communication

Traditional (big C) communications in large organizations usually serve
to ensure consistent over-arching messaging internally, and to the public at large.To deliver on their public-good mandate, science-based governmental institutions must do more than broadcast the department’s position. They must communicate not only broad policy directions, but also raw data, leading-edge science, general and informed layperson interpretations, and advice for action and behaviour change. Different sectors prefer to receive information and use knowledge in different ways. Science departments must engage with diverse audiences—for example, scienceusers and decision makers, the scientific community, public organizations, and individual citizens—in ways tailored for each audience. This means paying greater attention to the changing contexts in which information is received and used, and consequently the mechanisms and relationships required to produce and transfer scientific information. For policy audiences in particular, the relevance of the science to the issues of the day, and the crucial importance of timing, underline the
need for interactive knowledge brokering approaches that can deliver synergistic
combinations of ‘science push’ and ‘policy pull’. The authors draw on examples from Environment Canada, as well as from the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Land & Water Australia, to show how dedicated (little c) science and technology communications and knowledge brokering activities are growing in importance. The need for investment in specialized approaches, mechanisms and skill sets for knowledge transfer at the interface of science and policy is also explored, particularly in relation to the field of environmental sustainability.


Citation and export

Campbell, C. Andrew, Shaxson, L., Bielak, A. T., Pope, S. & Shaefer, K. Communicating Science in Social Contexts 201-226 (Springer Science+Business Media, 2008).

RIEL Headlines


Jump to NRBL themeJump to CMEM themeJump to FEM themeJump to SMWC themeJump to TRF themeJump to RIEL home

Innovative Research University

© 2011-2013 Charles Darwin University
Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods
Privacy Policy
CRICOS Provider No. 00300K | RTO Provider No. 0373

Phone (+61) 8 8946 6413