Addressing the challenge of producing scientific evidence that makes sense to policy

Coursebooks

“Addressing the challenge of producing scientific evidence that makes sense to policy” is an accredited doctoral course offered to EPFL PhD students. It is organised by the International Risk Governance Center (IRGC).

IRGC helps to improve the understanding and governance of systemic risks that have impacts on human health and safety, the environment, the economy and society at large. IRGC’s mission includes developing risk governance concepts and providing risk governance policy advice to decision-makers in the private and public sectors on key emerging or neglected issues.

For a list of topics the IRGC is working on, click here.


Content

The IRGC course is offered on the basis of the International Risk Governance Center’s work plan. The purpose of the course is to confront PhD students with the reality of policymaking and the difficulty of providing scientific information relevant to policy.

In 2021, IRGC is offering this course on the following topics:

1) Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) – Techniques and governance
See here for background on this topic: https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/irgc/climate-engineering/
– Date to be confirmed

2) The problem of space debris: analysing it and developing solutions for its governance.
See here for background on this topic: https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/irgc/specific-risk-domains/space-debris/
– Date to be confirmed

3) Nanotechnology risk governance
See here for background on this topic: https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/irgc/specific-risk-domains/nanotechnology-risk-governance/
– Workshop: April 2021

4) Governance of risks related to digitalisation
Exact topic to be confirmed. Background: https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/irgc/specific-risk-domains/projects-cybersecurity/
– Date to be confirmed

Format

Students participate in the preparation of an expert workshop, in particular through research for a briefing paper. They then attend a two-day interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder expert workshop. Finally, they produce a paper, focusing on evidence-based policy recommendations. In total, the course is spread over 3 to 6 months.

Course Information

Credits
This course awards 2 academic credits. To receive credit, it is mandatory to demonstrate participation in the research prior to the workshop, to participate in the workshop and to contribute to the workshop report.
 
Schedule and deadlines for application
– Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) –> application by 30 January 2021.
– The problem of space debris –> application by 30 January 2021.
– Nanotechnology risk governance -> application by 30 January 2021
– Governance of risks related to digitalisation -> application by 30 January 2021
Form of exam
In order to earn course credits, the expected outcome is the contribution to the project work as described above under ‘credits’. Two individual written contributions.
Language
The official language of the course is English.
Size of the class
The maximum number of participants is 3 per project/topic.
Coursebooks
Click here to read the coursebook.

Please note that your application is subject to a selection process and confirmation.

Contact

EPFL International Risk Governance Center (IRGC)
Château de Bassenges (BAC)
Station 5, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: +41 21 693 82 90

For any questions please contact [email protected].