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14: Science-based policy-making in times of post-truth?

Breakout / Democracy & Governance
in englischer Sprache

In this so-called post-fact era, with emotions and perceptions increasingly influencing political action – as opposed to concrete facts and evidence – there is a growing scepticism in society toward science. How can scientific institutions at the EU and national levels create science-based innovation and generate trust for evidence-based policy-making in this context?

Head of the Gielen-Leyendecker-Group, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn
Professor of Science Policy, University of Sussex
President, BfR - German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin Chair
Executive Director, EFSA - European Food Safety Authority, Parma Chair

Dr. Susann FIEDLER

Head of the Gielen-Leyendecker-Group, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn

2010-2013 PhD
since 2013 Postdoc
since 2014 Head of the Gielen-Leyendecker Research Group


Professor of Science Policy, University of Sussex

1971-1973 Lecturer in Philosophy, Universities of Leeds; University of Nottingham
1973-1986 Lecturer in the History and Social Studies of Science, University of Sussex
1987-1995 Lecturer in Sciece Policy, University of Sussex
1995-2001 Senior Lecturer in Science Policy, University of Sussex
2001-2005 Reader in Science Policy, University of Sussex
2005-2017 Professor of Science Policy, University of Sussex

DDr. Andreas HENSEL

President, BfR - German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin

1979-1988 tertiary qualification and specialised studies (title Dr. med. vet), University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
1991-1997 PhD, University of Utrecht
1990-1997 Senior scientist and full professor for Animal Hygiene and Federal Animal Pest Control, University of Vienna
1997 University lecturer for Microbiology and qualification as veterinary specialist ("Fachtierarzt") in Microbiology, Animal Hygiene, Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Epidemiology and Food Hygiene (habilitation)
1997-2003 Director and Chair at the Institute for Animal Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health, University of Leipzig
since 2003 President, BfR

Dr. Bernhard URL

Executive Director, EFSA - European Food Safety Authority, Parma

 Dr. Bernhard Url was appointed Executive Director of EFSA in June 2014, having served as Acting Executive Director for seven months. Dr. Url joined EFSA in June 2012 as Head of the Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance Department. A qualified veterinarian by training, he brings high-level management experience from food-safety organisations to his role at EFSA.
 Prior to joining the Authority, Dr. Url was Managing Director of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), which represents Austria on EFSA’s Advisory Forum. From 2008 to March 2012, he also served as a member of EFSA’s Management Board.
 During his 10 years at AGES, he was in charge of technical and scientific affairs with a remit that included the timely delivery of risk assessment and risk management services across a wide range of areas. This included ensuring effective risk communications during urgent food safety-related events.
 Prior to AGES Dr. Url spent five years as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Milk Hygiene and Milk Technology at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna before running a food quality control laboratory from 1993 to 2002.
 Dr. Url graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna in 1987 and became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. He has published in the field of veterinary medicine with a particular focus on listeria and milk hygiene.

Political Symposium

show timetable


12:00 - 16:00Professional Programme “Our World’s Future”Partner
13:00 - 16:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner
13:00 - 16:00Generational perspectives on security policyPartner


07:00 - 10:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner
07:00 - 10:00Devil’s diplomacyPartner
08:00 - 10:00The 2016 US election behind the scenesPlenary
08:00 - 09:30Fireside Talk with Ruth Dreifuss: women and powerPartner
12:00 - 14:30Opening: values and visions of a united EuropePlenary
15:00 - 16:30Acknowledging reality: coming to grips with the international systemPlenary
17:00 - 18:30The USA, the EU and Russia: what changes does the new US administration bring?Plenary


06:30 - 07:30Breakfast Club 03: POLITICO morning briefingPlenary
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 01: War and democracy in Ukraine: what is the future?Breakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 02: From conflicts to collaborative governance: using open data and collective intelligence to achieve public-sector innovationBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 03: May I stay or should I go? The impact of climate change on migrationBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 04: Military cooperation as a means to overcome security challengesBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 05: How to reconcile interests in societies with declining social cohesionBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 06: Alternative facts, provocations and social division: how to deal with populismBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 07: The EU on trial: 60 years of conflict and cooperation in EuropeBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 08: Geoengineering: governance implications, technical options and risksBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 09: Genome editing: governing on the cusp of uncertaintyBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 11: Innovation in a contested environment: from the outside in and the inside outBreakout
10:30 - 11:30Fireside Talk with Talia SassonPartner
10:30 - 12:00Lunch receptionBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 12: Digital Security: Social MediaBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 13: New freedoms, old constraints? Challenges of integrating female refugees in AustriaBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 14: Science-based policy-making in times of post-truth?Breakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 15: Migration and the Arts: Europe’s next narrativeBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 16: The Dublin dilemma and the way outBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 17: Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: catching up or showing the way?Breakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 18: Mission-oriented innovation policy in practiceBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 19: An end to a costly war: alternatives to failed drug policiesBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 20: The Arctic: new narratives for a disputed territoryBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 21: Democracy reloaded: what can we learn from bottom-up democratic innovations?Breakout
15:30 - 17:00Security and liberty in the digital futurePlenary
17:30 - 19:00Green Innovation: urgent & important at oncePlenary


07:00 - 10:30Transformative pathways to sustainability: from perception to changing behaviourPlenary