How to win friends and influence people: climate scientists’ perspectives on their relationship with and influence on government officials Academic Article uri icon


  • © Cambridge University Press, 2015. The use of scientific information in the policy-making process is prevalent in today's society, and political figures frequently consult scientists and experts when considering complex issues like climate change. While policy process literature concerning agenda setting and policy networks, such as epistemic communities and advocacy coalitions, considers the role of scientists in policymaking, very little work has provided insight into the relative influence and perceived relationships between scientists and policymakers. The ability of scientists and policymakers to work together has important implications for policy outcomes. We explore individual scientist's perceptions of the collective influence the scientific community has on policymaking, in addition to perceptions of relationships between scientists and policymakers. We suggest that a number of factors are relevant including trust, contact, attitudes, specialisation and demographics. Our findings indicate that, from scientists' perspectives, contact with policymakers, trust and attitudes about climate change play a significant role in shaping their relationship with policymakers.

altmetric score

  • 3.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Stoutenborough, J. W., Bromley-Trujillo, R., & Vedlitz, A.

citation count

  • 8

publication date

  • April 2015