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Policy projects

Evidence synthesis

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Evidence synthesis is a joint programme of work by the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Due to the complex nature of decision making, policymakers often need timely access to an unbiased summary of all the available evidence on a topic. The evidence required to address a policy question often comes from a range of disciplines, study designs and sources. Synthesis techniques from evidence based medicine, such as systematic reviews and meta-analysis, are increasingly being adapted and applied in other sectors.

The Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences are collaborating to explore existing models and develop a set of principles for good evidence synthesis in policymaking. This will draw upon new rapid synthesis techniques and methods for combining both qualitative and quantitative information from multiple sources. We will examine the incentives for academics with expertise in evidence synthesis to complete interdisciplinary, policy focused work. We will also identify any changes in the research landscape that are needed in order to facilitate the availability of high quality synthesised evidence for policymakers and others.

The Royal Society’s journals accept evidence synthesis articles. For an example see this article in Proceedings B on Bovine TB.

If you would like to find out more, then please read our blog posts or contact