The conservation science/policy interface: challenges and opportunities

Good communication between policy makers and scientists is a crucial requirement for developing policies that cost-effectively achieve measurable outcomes in conservation. Yet science and other forms of knowledge are not used effectively in policymaking; and policymakers do not always effectively inform scientists about their needs for scientific knowledge. Why is this so?

One of the biggest misconceptions when thinking about the science-policy interface is that science policy communication follows a ‘linear model’, which assumes that policy makers pose questions, and then scientists feed in the appropriate evidence so that policy makers can make well informed decisions. This type of situation is largely uncommon, as science and policy are both complex activities that are not straightforward in their approaches to solving problems.

This event brought together ecologists, conservation practitioners and policy-makers to discuss case-studies showing how science – policy interactions work in practice. Experts who work at the interface between science and policy showed, through a series of presentations, how good communication and excellent working relationships are crucial to successfully influencing or initiating change.  Speakers and interactive discussions explored the cross-sectorial and interdisciplinary approaches required to address biodiversity loss and ecosystem service degradation.

Organised by Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London and Ceri Margerison, British Ecological Society

Download the programme: PDF icon Programme - The conservation science/policy interface 16 April (531.84 KB)

PDF icon Programme - The conservation science/policy interface 16 April (531.84 KB)PDF icon Programme and abstracts symposium 16 April (860.51 KB)


Jonathan Baillie, Zoological Society of London
Bill Sutherland, British Ecological Society
Rosie Woodroffe, Zoological Society of London
Helen Bayliss, Bangor University
Sarah Durant, Zoological Society of London
Peter Brotherton, Natural England
Melanie Austen, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Sasha Leigh, Natural Environment Research Council
Jonathan Wentworth, Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology
Abigail Bunker, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Claire Brown, World Conservation Monitoring Centre

For further information, please contact the Scientific Events Coordinator by emailing, or 0207 449 6227.

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