Scientists and research publishers are urged to simplify and compress their work

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By Jeffrey Murimbechi


Scientists and research publishers are urged to simplify and compress their work so that policy makers find it easier to understand and implement when making decisions. This is a notion raised by Professor Vladmir Sucha after his key note address at the 11th African Academy of Sciences General Assembly in Pretoria.

 

Professor Vladmir Sucha, is the Director-General of the joint Research Centre for the European Commission’s science and knowledge service. In an exclusive interview, he said there is a superabundance of information.


“Every 20 seconds there is a scientific publication on this planet and if you pile up all these publications you will have a pile as big as Mt Kilimanjaro. Only half of those papers are sighted which means that they were probably not used and I think it’s this abundance abundance which is making it difficult for policy makers.

 

“It is very difficult for policy makers to find the right answers in this environment of data and information –we are only at the beginning of this explosion of data and we will have even more data. Policy makers must make a decision within short periods of time, if you send them 300 page reports it will not be read, they don’t have time to digest it. What we need is a different approach and provide knowledge which is much more easy,” he said.

 

There is a call for more research and collaboration between policy makers, scientists and the citizens he says. The African Academy of Science’s vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science.

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