NIOZ

BRUSSELS DECLARATION INTRODUCED AT THE AAAS IN BOSTON

TWENTY-POINT BLUEPRINT FOR ETHICAL SCIENCE & POLICY-MAKING

To ensure reliable, evidence-based policy-making for the benefit of society, an independent group of public and industry scientists, representatives of science-led civil society groups and individuals assuming leadership roles, has introduced the Brussels Declaration at the Advancement of Science’s Annual Meeting (AAAS) in Boston, USA.

The Brussels Declaration proposes a twenty-point plan for a set of ethics and principles to inform work at the boundary between science, society and policy. Its sole purpose is to boost understanding of how power operates and to explain why evidence plus dialogue rarely equals (as one might expect) good decisions and laws.

The declaration brings together the findings from a series of five consultation events and symposia at global conferences from 2012 - 2016, in which more than 300 individuals from 35 countries examined how power operates in science and society.

By merging traditional scientific and political ‘elites’ with ‘scientific citizenship’ and robust third-party science, the initiative group has identified alternatives that are not based on more top-down authority or even ‘certainty’, but on greater methodological trust, the initiators state.  

 

Boosting our understanding of power

The initiative group makes a case for a broad, multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach promoting greater integrity and accountability. Their main recommendation for promoting public dialogue and better understanding is not only greater transparency and scrutiny, but genuine inclusivity.

(Sources: Nature, EuroScientist Journal, Elsevier)

Details of all five consultation events and supporting symposia held at global conferences 2012 – 2016, their set-up logic, participant lists, working groups, presentations, plus the thematic thought-leader essays generated etc. can be found here.