Welcome to our resource page created to enhance dialogue between environmental health science researchers and decision makers. Our goal is to strenghten the capacity of EH researchers so that they may effectively interact with decision makers, toward the end of supporting effective problem solving around environmental health issues. Activists, community-based organization leaders, government agency and elected officials and their staff want more opportunities to engage with researchers so they can get information that may help them better advocates for their community. They also noted the importance of community engagement staff who are trusted resources for connecting with the scientific community:
"There needs to be more dialogue between researchers and decision makers to understand each other regarding environmental justice issues."
"We need information ambassadors who understand both sides, community and academic worlds, to facilitate [dialogue]."
If you have questions about presenting scientific information to public audiences, community engagement staff can assist. They are skilled conduits for connecting and understand the information needs and concerns of varying audiences. The documents below can also help prepare researchers for those interactions.
Best Practices for Communicating Science
We synthesized existing science communication literature with insights from interviews with decision makers and environmental health leaders to create guidelines for translating and sharing environmental health science research.
Guidelines for Engaging Policy Makers
This document provides insight for researchers who want to know how to navigate legislative interactions:
Evaluating Translated Materials
A community-review process can ensure that translated information is user friendly and relevant to local issues. The evaluation tool below can be used to collect feedback from community partners who can provide useful insight into how well the scientific information was translated for public consumption and advocacy purposes:
- Translating Environmental Health Science Research Evaluation
- You can also assess the reading level of translated materials using the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale
Example fact sheet & evaluation:
- Environmental health source article
- Translated fact sheet with evaluation feedback from WSU advisory board members page 1, page 2
Additional information on communicating and translating science can be accessed at:
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- The Science of Science Communication
- Communicating Science: A Roundtable Discussion
- Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science
If you have questions about meeting with policy makers, seek out staff who work in community engagement, government relations, communications, or public affairs at your university. They are skilled conduits for connecting and understand the information needs and concerns of varying audiences.
The content of this page is a result of the collaborative efforts of three EHSCC Community Engagement Cores as well as Guy Williams of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice who served as a community consultant. Guy is the CAB Co-Chair at WSU CURES (pictured w Nick and Carrie) and SAB member at UofM M-LEEaD center.
For more information contact email@example.com