Saturday, November 28, 2009

Best Available Science: A Process for Evaluating the Validity & Applicability of Scientific Findings to Decision Making

Saturday, Dec 12, 1:30 pm Public and FREE

Dennis K. McBride, Ph.D. Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Georgetown University Medical School Public Policy Institute

National Science Foundation, Room 110
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington,VA 
(Map) (Flyer)

Policymakers, judges, government agency staff, lawmakers, scientists, and others must constantly balance scientific, social, economic, political, emotional and other considerations when making a decision.  However, they are often "on their own" to determine the validity and applicability of scientific and technical data as they ask themselves, "How reliable is the information in front of me? What is the level of maturity of the underlying science, and can I make a sound decision based on it?"

Dennis K. McBridePh.D., President Emeritus and Chair of Fellows at  the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, will discuss the book, Best Available Sciencethat he co-authored with researchers from Potomac and the Institute for Regulatory Science. Led by the lead author, Alan Moghissi, this book is the culmination of three decades of insight from experts in the scientific and policy worlds, who have developed a process to enable not only scientists, but also non-scientists, to clearly and easily assess the maturity of scientific information. The book isolates scientific issues from other issues at play in policymaking.  It provides a framework for understanding the validity of scientific information that can be universally understood.  It gives decision makers a simple assessment system to most effectively utilize scientific information.  It also separates science from topics that are outside of the purview of science. As we continue to strive for excellence in both science and policy in an ever-changing landscape, Best Available Science, is a compelling resource.  It arms you with the ability to make the best decision possible with the best available information.  This guide can also be used as a tool for scientists to more clearly communicate with policy makers and help them to "speak the same language."

Dennis K. McBride, Ph.D. is President Emeritus and Chair of Fellows at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington area think tank dedicated to the provision of science and technology policy expertise to the administration, congress, and the judiciary. Members of the Institute remain actively engaged in the scientific disciplines for which they provide expertise. McBride is an evolutionary psychologist with an extensive background in the science of human evolution. Prior to Best Available Science, he co-authored Quantifying Human Information Processing (Rowman & Littlefield).

McBride is Chief Scientific Officer for Quantum Leap Innovations.  In addition to being an active adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s medical school and Public Policy Institute, he has also held appointments as professor in colleges of engineering and arts and sciences.