On Friday 6th March 2020, over forty people flocked to the BES Offices in London to learn more about Making an Impact: Understanding the ways you can engage with the UK Parliament and Policy. It was a hugely interesting and informative day, and we hope that people left understanding more about how they can get involved in policy making or shaping, and feel empowered to do so. Kasia Mikolajczak has written a great blog about the day here, and another is on the way. We’d like to thank the BES Policy Team for all of their help in co-running the event, and the broader BES, especially Georgina Glaser.

The crew of excellent speakers that came along to the event have kindly allowed us to publish the slides of their presentations, so feel free to take a look at the resources below.

Introduction and welcome

Introduction to the day and briefly of the Conservation Ecology Special Interest Group.

Lydia Cole (Chair of Conservation Ecology SIG)

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Introduction to policy in the UK

An introduction to the BES Policy Team, and to policy and the policy making process in the UK, explaining the structures of parliament, government and its agencies.

Brendan Costelloe (BES Policy Manager)

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Why policy needs science

Understanding the importance of getting scientific messages across to policy makers and how to most effectively do that.

Professor Steve Ormerod, University of Cardiff & Deputy Chairman of Natural Resources Wales

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An insider’s perspective on policy making

How is scientific evidence used in the parliamentary process and what ‘voices’ are most listened to?

Lloyd Owen, Clerk of the Environmental Audit Committee

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Effective science communication to policymakers

Understanding who Government policy makers are, what they are looking for from scientists and how to be a scientist that effectively communicates with them.

Alice Milner, Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, acting as a Scientific Advisor at DEFRA on policy issues

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Evidence synthesis for environmental policy in the UK and EU

How different methods of evidence synthesis are used to inform policy processes and how to improve the uptake of your research by evidence synthesis organisations

Miriam Grace, Postdoctoral researcher in environmental knowledge synthesis at the University of East Anglia and the University of Cambridge

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A consultancy practitioner’s perspective on the opportunities to influence policy and legislation

An overview of some of the working groups and fora available outside of academia, as avenues of influence on policy

Martina Girvan, Technical Director and Head of Ecology and Arboriculture, Arcadis Consulting

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Short recap of lessons learned and introduction to the group exercise

Lydia Cole/Brendan Costelloe

Short recap of lessons learnt during the morning and key points to know when communicating with policy makers, followed by an introduction to developing a Ministerial ‘elevator pitch’ – the basis for the group exercise.

There is much more information on how you can get involved in the environmental policy arena on our Conservation Policy webpage. And feel free to email Lydia if you have further questions about or comments on the event.

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