Accessibility of information

Availability of decision-relevant information

Participants may be unfamiliar with where to find information in peer-reviewed journals or it may be too costly to obtain the information

Information may be written in highly technical language and may be difficult for the public or individuals from other disciplines to interpret

Summarize information in plain language

Provide technical assistance to participants who need it

Organize public education workshops or “open houses”

Include a technical expert on the facilitation team to serve as a “translator”

Put information on the web

Information may not be trusted

Explicitness about analytic assumptions and uncertainties

Good-faith communication

Models and other scientific methods are or are perceived as manipulated to justify a decision made for other reasons

Analyses make simplifying assumptions that obscure issues of importance to participants

Models focus only on what can be quantified easily, unintentionally prioritizing certain variables, leading to incomplete or inaccurate analyses, or contributing to a perception of bias

Invite scientists to explain limitations of available science

Develop scenarios as an alternative to models when predictive models are inadequate

Form a technical work group of experts trusted by all sides and develop or vet information and analyses through that group

Invite stakeholder nominations for peer review groups

Invite stakeholder comments on selection of members of expert panels to ensure confidence that all scientific views are included

Engage in joint fact finding

aEvidence is inadequate to recommend any of these practices as effective, or as preferable to practices that are not listed. They are listed to suggest some of the practices that might be considered for addressing particular difficulties.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement