Collective Scientific Expertise (ESCo) at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)   a tool for deci...
Collective scientific expertise (ESCo) : definition  <ul><li>Scientific assessment on societal debate or controversy </li>...
Collective Scientific Expertise (ESCo) at INRA, France <ul><li>Since 2002, the French National Institute for Agricultural ...
ESCo at INRA : main actors <ul><li>ESCo unit (INRA, Paris, France)  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>coordinate scientific assess...
ESCo Process in 8 steps Focus on steps which deal with information
The case of Agriculture  & Biodiversity ESCo <ul><li>Expertise may not occur without a public debate  </li></ul><ul><li>Pu...
Step 2 : constitution of experts’ group  <ul><li>Scientific excellence and research activities </li></ul><ul><li>Declarati...
Steps 3-4 : information searching  and collecting  <ul><li>Role of information professionals to retrieve and select availa...
Steps 5 : experts’ analysis and writing based on ESCo database  <ul><li>Role of experts to  analyze all the ESCo database ...
Steps 7-8 : outcomes of expertise  <ul><li>Expertise report written by experts (posted in open access) </li></ul><ul><li>E...
Consequences of ESCo  <ul><li>Agriculture & Biodiversity ESCo brought elements and data  </li></ul><ul><li>for national, e...
Conclusion  <ul><li>Collective scientific expertise is an emergent activity conducted at INRA which contributes to renew d...
Examples of INRA ESCo <ul><li>Six previous assessments on different subject related to agriculture, food, environment and ...
Thanks for your attention Any questions ? <ul><li>[email_address]   </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.inra.fr/l_institut/ exper...
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Collective scientific expertise at INRA : A tool for decision making and dialogue between science and society

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Presentation by Dominique Fournier (INRA) at the IAALD 2010 World Congress - 26-29 April 2010, Montpellier, France

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Transcript of "Collective scientific expertise at INRA : A tool for decision making and dialogue between science and society"

  1. 1. Collective Scientific Expertise (ESCo) at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) a tool for decision making and public debate Dominique FOURNIER, Inra, Montpellier, France & Claire SABBAGH, Inra, Paris, France Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development IAALD XIIIth World Congress, Montpellier, France, 26-29 April 2010
  2. 2. Collective scientific expertise (ESCo) : definition <ul><li>Scientific assessment on societal debate or controversy </li></ul><ul><li>At the request of authorities or ministries </li></ul><ul><li>Several scientific experts are involved </li></ul><ul><li>Based on « published » scientific knowledge ( ≠ « expert opinion » based on personal advices) </li></ul><ul><li>State of art with a multidisciplinary point of views and a critical analysis of scientific knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes of expertise are intended to be integrated in a decision making process </li></ul>
  3. 3. Collective Scientific Expertise (ESCo) at INRA, France <ul><li>Since 2002, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) conducts collective scientific expertise at the request of French ministry for Agriculture or French ministry for Ecology </li></ul><ul><li>ESCo unit (INRA, Paris) with 4 permanent people </li></ul><ul><li>Since 2006 and the French Research Law n°2006-450, scientific expertise is one of the researchers’ missions </li></ul><ul><li>In 2010, the French national charter of scientific expertise was published by the French Ministry of Higher Education & Research : excellence, plurality, transparency, impartiality </li></ul><ul><li>6 ESCo conducted since 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>http ://www.inra.fr/l_institut/expertise http://www.international.inra.fr/the_institute/scientific_expertise </li></ul>
  4. 4. ESCo at INRA : main actors <ul><li>ESCo unit (INRA, Paris, France) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>coordinate scientific assessments for INRA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>manage the project in the respect of deadlines (i.e. 12 months) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Experts’ group : 20 pers. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>chosen on the basis of their scientific excellence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>absence of conflict of interest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>wide range of disciplines : from life sciences to social sciences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Information professionals : 2 – 4 pers. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>guarantee the quality of the ESCo process mainly based on scientific informations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>one insures the information methodological process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>others are specialized on the subject of the expertise and know perfectly the specialized information sources </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. ESCo Process in 8 steps Focus on steps which deal with information
  6. 6. The case of Agriculture & Biodiversity ESCo <ul><li>Expertise may not occur without a public debate </li></ul><ul><li>Public opinion is sensitive to the loss of biodiversity and agricultural activities are often pointed as one of the main factors of this loss </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>agriculture has shaped landscapes, creates new ecological conditions and generates a reservoir of diversity in terms of the number of species, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>intensification of agricultural practices threatens biodiversity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>This collective scientific expertise was requested to INRA in 2007 by French ministry of ecology and French ministry of agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>The main question concerns the relationships between agriculture and biodiversity and the potential benefits from synergies </li></ul>Step 0 : Societal question Step 1 : Question adressed to Inra Guideline
  7. 7. Step 2 : constitution of experts’ group <ul><li>Scientific excellence and research activities </li></ul><ul><li>Declaration of interests required to guarantee independance with socio-economical world </li></ul><ul><li>Role of information professionals to identify and qualify experts (scientific databases, research programs gateway) </li></ul><ul><li>For Agriculture & Biodiversity ESCO, 20 experts were gathered : </li></ul><ul><li>different disciplines : ecology, agronomy, economics, sociology and legal studies </li></ul><ul><li>different study levels : biological organisms to landscapes, and ultimately to the structures of decision making </li></ul><ul><li>different research organisations in France (INRA, CNRS, IRD, Agronomical schools) and foreign countries (Agroscope and Institute of environmental sciences from Zurich (Switzerland), Louvain-la-Neuve University (Belgium)) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Steps 3-4 : information searching and collecting <ul><li>Role of information professionals to retrieve and select available information on subject, in interaction with experts </li></ul><ul><li>Terms and topics (defined in step 1) are formalized into keywords, ideas and concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Main information sources : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>published knowledge : international scientific databases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>grey litterature (reports, …) : problem to certify data quality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>experts’ bibliography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Search strategies entered into appropriate sources </li></ul><ul><li>Endnote® database : references sorted by chapter, experts download it on their personal computer, useful for experts to analyze references and cite them into report but software not suitable to collaborative work </li></ul>
  9. 9. Steps 5 : experts’ analysis and writing based on ESCo database <ul><li>Role of experts to analyze all the ESCo database references, identify useful elements and compile them in order to determine the established knowledge, highlight uncertainties </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative workspace (Silverpeas ®) to share documents and data </li></ul><ul><li>Several meetings to share different point of views </li></ul><ul><li>Problems : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>experts not enough available, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to clarify and justify experts’ reference choice </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Steps 7-8 : outcomes of expertise <ul><li>Expertise report written by experts (posted in open access) </li></ul><ul><li>Executive summary written by a scientific editor (ESCo unit) and published by Quae Editions </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative analysis of cited references </li></ul><ul><li>For Agriculture & Biodiversity ESCO : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise report : 637 p. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive summary : 113 p. (in french and english) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 000 cited references </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>45 % published in the 5 last years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>78 % peer-reviewed journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scientific meeting (2008/07/02) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Consequences of ESCo <ul><li>Agriculture & Biodiversity ESCo brought elements and data </li></ul><ul><li>for national, european and international agricultural policies </li></ul><ul><li>discussions concerning biodiversity in the framework of the French Environment Round Table (Grenelle) and French environmental certification scheme (Co-construction of environmental performance indicators) </li></ul><ul><li>creation of the the French Resarch foundation for Biodiversity </li></ul>Agriculture & Biodiversity ESCo pointed out the emergence of multidisciplinary papers which associate ecologists, agronomes and economics  benefit synergies, new research field <ul><ul><li>Outcomes of expertise are intended to be integrated in a decision making process under the responsibility of the Ministry which raised the question </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ESCo report does not provide specific advice or recommendations nor formally attempts to analyze future trends </li></ul><ul><li>ESCo report may point out needed researches </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conclusion <ul><li>Collective scientific expertise is an emergent activity conducted at INRA which contributes to renew dialogue and society </li></ul><ul><li>Three new expertises are planned in 2010… </li></ul><ul><li>This activity asks for many human resources which is gathered during the project time. New persons will be employed for this activity </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility of expertise is necessary for its better integration in a decision-making process </li></ul><ul><li>ESCo Unit continually develops guides and methods to enhance the quality process </li></ul>
  13. 13. Examples of INRA ESCo <ul><li>Six previous assessments on different subject related to agriculture, food, environment and society </li></ul>Carbon stockage Pesticides, agriculture and environment drought and agriculture fruit and vegetable consumption agriculture and biodiversity farm animal pain
  14. 14. Thanks for your attention Any questions ? <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.inra.fr/l_institut/ expertise </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.international.inra.fr/the_institute/scientific_expertise </li></ul>

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