I’m working on a couple of projects right now in which I’m trying to help policymakers effectively communicate complex science (involving drought, climate change, and water availability, but that goes without saying, right?) in political and policy processes. Paul Cairney suggests the constraints:
In debate, evidence is mentioned a lot, but only to praise the evidence backing my decision and rejecting yours. Or, you only trust the evidence from people you trust. If you trust the evidence from certain scientists, you stress their scientific credentials. If not, you find some from other experts. Or, if all else is lost, you reject experts as condescending elites with a hidden agenda. Or, you say simply that they can’t be that clever if they agree with smarmy Cameron/ Johnson.
Cairney’s writing here about Great Britain’s “Brexit” debate, but this generalizes.