Myth-busting I/IV 

The Myth: Cooperation between researchers and policy-makers is impossible because they are so different from each other.

The Reality: The organisations behind researchers and policy-makers, such as universities and government ministries, are different in nature. Similarly, the duties and powers of researchers and policy-makers also differ. This myth still needs busting, because: 

  • Understanding of research and policy-making or one’s conception of the significance of interaction are not defined on the basis of the background organisation, and neither are the individual’s motivation to cooperate and desire to learn something new. 
  • Some researchers may study topics that touch upon administrative policy-making and other researchers may have more expertise on the processes of policy-making than others. The same applies in reverse to policy-makers. Members of parliament or civil servants of ministries may have a background in research, for example. Some policy-makers are also more systematically involved with research knowledge than others whose duties may not include any research at all. 
  • The participants of events such as workshops and hearings change, and the interaction situations change with them. The idea that creating a shared understanding or getting a message across is difficult is still a poor starting point for interaction. Every encounter provides the opportunity for flowing discussion and increasing one’s own understanding and that of others.