Use Sound Science Guide to Evaluate Information

Source: Rebekah Fitzgerald, Council of State Governments, E-Newsletter, Vol. 139, 2014

Policymakers today have no shortage of information when considering a specific topic or legislation. Supporters and opponents both use a wide range of information when arguing a position, and it is not always easy to tell if that information is based on sound science….The revised guide, set to be released mid-June, aims to provide guidance to help policymakers cut through the jargon and spin that sometimes accompanies technical issues. “The ‘State Official’s Guide to Science-based Decision-making’ provides valuable information and tips for the reader on how to assess the research and discern credible sources from those that lack appropriate credentials,” said Lyons. The guide has four main sections: assessing the expert, assessing the methods, assessing the results and integrating the knowledge. Each section contains examples and walks readers through key questions to ask, acting as more of a roadmap rather than a strict rulebook. …