Scientific expertise


Scientific expertise can be considered an important contributor to good governance,

especially in terms of providing information to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness

of the decision making process during epidemics and total pandemics.

The report of the HEG Expert Group on science, H1N1 and Society stresses on the

difference between good science and good expertise (where scientific expertise should

mix both). According to the report “Science is about questioning, doubting, addressing

and testing all alternatives at the same time in order to challenge them, whatever their

likelihood. Expertise and decision-making concern putting facts and evidence in order,

and ranking the likelyhood of various risk scenarios while taking into consideration the

contextual information. [..] Good expertise can also come from non-scientific

professionals and citizens.”

A problem during the H1N1 pandemic, identified in the report, was that after the initial

dominance of scientific expertise coming from microbiology, epidemiology and

medicine, when decisions were made on worldwide actions, the scientific input into

decisions became much less visible and systematic. Decisions on hygiene

measurements, vaccination campaigns, mobilization of facilities and communication

initiatives were generally taken without utilizing the knowledge and expertise of social

sciences, economics and systems and organization sciences and communication

sciences. The expert group insisted on the need for multidisciplinary scientific expertise

in crisis situations.(1)


(1) HEG Expert Group, Science, H1N1 and Society: Towards a more pandemicresilient

society, HEG Expert Group, June 2011

MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Engaging all of Europe in shaping a desirable and sustainable future
Expect the unexpected and know how to respond
Driving innovation in crisis management for European resilience
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Solutions to improve CBRNe resilience
Network for Communicable Disease Control in Southern Europe and Mediterranean Countries
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
Strengthening of the national surveillance system for communicable diseases
Surveillance of vaccine preventable hepatitis
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
European network for highly infectious disease
Dedicated surveillance network for surveillance and control of vaccine preventable diseases in the EU
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Addressing chronic diseases and healthy ageing across the life cycle
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Get involved in the responsible marine research and innovation
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Promote vaccinations among migrant population in Europe
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improve the quality of indoor air, keeping it free from radon
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Investigating how cities in the West securitise against global pandemics
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence