Evidence matters to the public

Join us on 1st November at Parliament to make the case

Learn more

What Works Global Summit. Register now.

Putting evidence at the heart of policy and practice. 26th - 28th September.

Learn more

Plant Science Panel

Insecticides, biofuels, GMOs …

Learn more

'The Ugly Truth'

by Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science

Learn more

Past events

ESOF 2014

Copenhagen, 21st – 26th June

What's up with peer review?

13:00 - 14:15 , June 21 2014

Dipylon hall

Peer review is changing. Advances in technology are moving the point at which papers are considered published. New publishing models are offering alternative peer review systems. It's now more important than ever for early career researchers to know about peer review, what's changing and how to get involved. At a career session on peer review at ESOF2012, we heard from researchers, science communicators, journalists and others about a whole host of pressures that peer review is facing: particular incidents of flawed papers making it into print and leaked email exchanges showing researchers trying to influence the process; about whether peer review is coping with the global expansion of scholarly research, and the mounting pressure on researchers to get grants and publish papers, leaving little time to review.


Victoria Babbit - Publisher, Taylor & Francis

Iryna Kuchma - Open Access Programme Manager, EIFL

Lars Rasmussen - Editor-in-chief, Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica

For more information visit: https://esof2014.pathable.com/#meetings/174684


All trials registered, all results reported

12:00 - 13:15 , June 23 2014

Carlsberg Museum/The Dance Halls

Thousands of clinical trials have not reported their results; some have not even been registered. Information on what was done and what was found in these trials could be lost forever to doctors and researchers, leading to bad treatment decisions, missed opportunities for good medicine, and trials being repeated. When clinical trial results are withheld, patients are harmed and money is wasted. All trials past and present should be registered, and the full methods and the results reported.

What are the practical measures that researchers, universities, publishers and doctors must put in place to fulfil their commitments?

In Europe, clinical trial regulations with transparency at their heart are being debated in Parliament and will soon become law. We now face the possibility of a fundamental shift in the way that clinical trial results are reported. We will discuss what these new regulations will mean for medicine.


Peter Gøtzsche - Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet

Beate Wieseler - Head of Department, Drug Assessmene, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), Germany

Janet Wisely - CEO, Health Research Authority, UK

For more information visit: https://esof2014.pathable.com/#meetings/174612


Peer review: The nuts and bolts

16:30 - 17:45, June 24 2014

EuroScience Room, Carlsberg Academy

Find out about peer review. Debate challenges to the system. Discuss the role of peer review for scientists and the public. Should peer review detect plagiarism, bias or fraud? What does peer review do for science and what does the scientific community want it to do for them? Should reviewers remain anonymous? Does it illuminate good ideas or shut them down? This master class is open to all ESOF attendees. It will be a chance to discuss with experienced editors and researchers how peer review works, how to get involved, the challenges to the system, and the role of peer review in helping the public weigh up the reliability of research claims.


Sabine Kleinert - Senior executive editor, The Lancet

Paul Hardaker - Chief executive, Institute of Physics

Irene Hames - Editorial and publishing consultant


For more information visit: http://www.euroscience.org/euroscience-room-programme.html


A new approach to food regulation: looking at novel traits in plants

09:00 - 10:15 , June 25 2014

Carlsberg Museum, Dipylon Hall

Society faces challenges in food security, climate change and environmental protection. Plant scientists are working to reduce some of these challenges – to increase crop yields, reduce damage to crops after they are harvested, make crops more tolerant of stresses (cold, drought, salt and heat) and improve the nutritional value of food.

In the EU, plants are regulated if they are genetically modified. The regulatory process is slow and creates barriers to innovative research. If plants are altered by a non-GM method, they do not have to go through the regulation. This encourages companies to develop crops that get through the system more easily rather than the crop solutions we need most.

Canada has developed a system which regulates plant traits if they are novel, irrespective of the process used to introduce the trait, whether it is genetic engineering, mutagenesis, conventional breeding, or any other. To establish such a rational, novel trait based system would require changes to EU regulation, which may be difficult. Plant scientists have been discussing the potential for a fast-track system for public good traits – those that are deemed to be of public benefit, such as improving nutritional value of food or replacing herbicides.


Darlene Blair - Director, Field Crops and Inputs Division, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Torbjörn Fagerström - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Anne Glover - Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission

Ottoline Leyser - Director & Professor of Plant Development, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University

Society for Experimental Biology

For more information visit: https://esof2014.pathable.com/#meetings/174597


AAAS Annual Meeting 2014

Chicago, 13-17 February

We are running two events on the 16th and 17th of February, the first based around our Ask for Evidence campaign and the second on Hazards:what do we build for?

Ask for Evidence

Grand Ballroom F (Hyatt Regency)

Sunday 16th February

14:15 – 15:15

Journalists, policymakers and companies have been under little pressure to provide rigorous scientific evidence for their claims. Now more than ever, scientists have a responsibility to respond to bad science and misinformation. This workshop will encourage early career researchers to get involved in public debates about science through the Ask for Evidence campaign, which urges everyone to ask for evidence behind claims in policy, media and advertising. The campaign allows researchers to get their voices heard, interact with the media, and talk about the status of research claims with citizens, policymakers, journalists and advertisers. We will share campaign case studies, tips for speaking with the media, and social media strategies.

For more information please visist the AAAS website http://meetings.aaas.org/


Julia Wilson, Sense About Science


Morgan Thompson, Harvard Medical School and the Arcus Center for Social Justice

Mariette DiChristina, Scientific American 

Trevor Butterworth, Statistical Assessment Service 


Hazards: What Do We Build For?

Grand Ballroom B (Hyatt Regency)

Monday 17th February

09:45 – 12:45

Scientists are changing the way they assess and plan for natural hazards. Many experts are now arguing for an approach that identifies the best practical solutions to cope with hazards, in preference to what they see as a quest for increasingly accurate predictions and an unrealistic emphasis on eradicating uncertainty. The chaotic nature of seismic activity makes it impossible to predict an earthquake with sufficient time for people to leave their homes, for example. Instead, experts are moving toward long-term earthquake forecasts to assess whether buildings should be strengthened. Systems experts look at the likelihood of hazards and the balance the costs and benefits of interventions on our fundamental needs (i.e. water, health, etc.). They share calculations of how society’s finite resources should be spent for use in policy decisions. But the systems approach, which urges action based on risk assessment, is being constrained by demands for better predictions. At the center is a gap between what we worry about and what will actually change outcomes. Bangladesh, for example, is badly affected by changing climate, and some scientists argue that instead of refining a 50-year climate forecast, efforts should focus on calculating when people should abandon their land in floods, to move seeds and tools to higher ground. This session discusses how we decide what to prepare for. Can science and policy be aligned on these issues or are they in perpetual tension?

More Information availible on the AAAS website http://meetings.aaas.org/


Leonor Sierra, University of Rochester 


Seth Stein, Northwestern University

N. Peter Whitehead, NSF

James H. Lambert, University of Virginia

Tracey Brown, Sense About Science 

Leonard A. Smith, London School of Economics and Political Science