The decision maker’s lament: If I only had some science!




Environmental decision makers lament instances in which the lack of actionable science limits confident decision-making. Their reaction when the needed scientific information is of poor quality, uninformative, unintelligible, or altogether absent is often to criticize scientists, their work, or science in general. The considerations offered here encourage decision makers to explore alternative approaches to alleviate their disappointment. Ironically, many researchers lament the lack of support for the science they wish to deliver and accuse decision makers of failing to realize the value of the scientific studies they propose. Both communities would benefit by remembering that producing actionable science for a pending decision requires knowing the context for that decision beforehand. They may also look inward. Only then will they find answers to the question: What can I do within my own capacity to ensure that the necessary actionable science becomes available and facilitate its use to inform decisions?

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The decision maker’s lament: If I only had some science!
Series title Ambio
DOI 10.1007/s13280-024-01986-w
Edition Online First
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) National Climate Adaptation Science Center
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