The Science Policy Exchange was created in 2012 as a collaborative of six world-class research institutions and four associated National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites all dedicated to increasing the influence of science on environmental policy, conservation, and natural resource management.
The founding members of our consortium are Harvard Forest, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystems Center, Syracuse University, and University of New Hampshire. Each partner contributes to the financial support and governance of the consortium. The four LTER sites associated with our consortium are Harvard Forest LTER, Hubbard Brook LTER, Baltimore Ecosystem Study, and Plum Island Ecosystems LTER. Harvard Forest currently serves as the administrative home for the Science Policy Exchange.
Our mission is to harness the power of science to generate environmental solutions for people and nature.
We bring proven and cutting-edge approaches to our public engagement, actionable research, science communication, and training for the next generation of science leaders.
Through meticulous long-term measurements scientists gain intimate knowledge about how nature works and how human decisions alter ecosystems. In the face of climate and other environmental change, insights from decades-long research can help adapt approaches of the past and guide decisions about the future. Taking advantage of this knowledge bank calls for creative and enduring programs that convene scientists and decision makers at all levels of society to exchange knowledge and produce shared solutions.
We work at the interface of science and policy to confront pressing environmental challenges. We engage leaders in the government, nonprofit, and corporate sectors to define critical environmental challenges and identify knowledge gaps. We convene interdisciplinary teams to synthesize research on timely policy and conservation questions. We communicate policy-relevant science in formats that meet the needs of decision makers. And we assess our project outcomes to promote learning and share best practices.
- We expand the influence of our partners and increase their policy impact.
- We excel at identifying cutting-edge problems and achieving high impact results by using strategic communication and outreach strategies.
- We work with member institutions to develop and fund policy-relevant science and communication projects. We bring together scientists from different disciplines develop and execute multi-faceted projects addressing environmental change. Our teams include ecosystem scientists, economists, health scientists, and practitioners from diverse fields including engineers, communications professionals, graphic designers, and group process designers.
- We apply social science research on the elements of successful science-to-action initiatives to design our projects, and we evaluate our success using practices for ensuring credibility, salience, and legitimacy.
- We expand the capacity of scientists to conduct high-impact, policy-relevant research by contributing expertise on conducting policy-relevant research, public outreach, and strategic communication to the public and policymakers.
We have launched three initiatives to address the interacting effects of climate change, land use, and pollution on ecosystems and their benefits to people. The three initiatives—Energy Transformation, Landscapes & Resilience, and Water Sustainability—each consist of projects that draw on our scientific expertise to address specific environmental challenges. The projects focus on the northeastern U.S. and have national to global significance with potential for impact on major policy decisions in the next three to five years.
Since our founding in 2012, we have achieved measurable results in science, policy, and communication.
- 16 reports and peer-reviewed papers in top journals: Our publications are used by scientists, stakeholders, and decision-makers to inform environmental solutions.
- 1000+ media stories in print, television, radio, and online outlets: Our work is featured in high-profile national and regional outlets including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Boston Globe.
- 700+ stakeholders and policymakers reached via workshops, round-tables, webinars, and office meetings: We are engaging with an increasing number of stakeholders every year, to co-develop new solutions-oriented research and to collaboratively develop science-based environmental solutions.
- 60 researchers have contributed to our reports and publications: Our extensive network of scientists and practitioners has decades of experience developing policy-relevant research and applying science to achieve environmental solutions.
- We have created a new consortium that collaborates across disciplines and institutions to address environmental challenges and convenes scientists and decision makers at all levels of society to exchange knowledge and produce shared environmental solutions.
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Fine Fund, The Grantham Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Highstead Foundation, Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, F.M. Kirby Foundation, National Science Foundation, Surdna Foundation, USFS Northeastern States Research Cooperative