Cornell University

Parachuting Scientists into Policy Making:  An Autoethnographic Account of the Role of Science in Government

Friday, September 29, 2017 at 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Warren Hall, B73, Polson Seminar room 137 Reservoir Drive

Christine Leuenberger, Department of Science & Technology


Abstract: Calls for academics to make themselves more relevant to policy-making have increasingly reverberated across academia and the government. Underlying this call is the assumption that more scientists in the government would assure more evidence-based policy-making and improve diplomatic relations. This paper is based on an ethnographic emersion as a science fellow within federal policy-making agencies. It examines the cultural gaps between academics and policy-makers; how a better understanding of the institutional and organizational structures and constraints of the two professions would make calls for cross-professional engagements more effective; how political cycles dictate interest in science; and how, when, and where in the political cycles academic expertise may be impactful. 

Event Type



Development Sociology


dsoc, cascal




Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Susan Barry

Contact Phone



Christine Leuenberger

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Science & Technology, Cornell University

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