Link to the actual Brussels Declaration below. I agree that it does have a lot of good things in it. I too have cherry-picked my favorite passages. http://21ax0w3am0j23cz0qd1q1n3u.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Brussels-Declaration.pdf
12. Policy-makers should be willing to justify decisions, particularly where they deviate from independent scientific advice
Clarity and transparency are fundamentally important, particularly where policy deviates from independent scientific
advice.Whether there is scientific consensus or not, it has to be clear, through disclosure of all sources of input,
whenever non-scientific considerations or influencing factors are involved in decision-making. Policy-makers should
also be brave and imaginative. A new spirit of innovation might have to out-weigh precaution. Opening up new
opportunities should be a core responsibility of policy-makers, who must also give due attention to the need for global
investment in education to provide the resources for our shared future.
13. Policy-makers should acknowledge the potential for bias and vested interests Contrary to the scientific consensus
Policy-makers should acknowledge all sources of input used in coming to decisions and be aware of the risks and
dangers of pressure from commercial agencies or special interest groups including media bias, which can frequently
lead public opinion.Where decisions are made that are contrary to the scientific consensus this should be made
explicit and the considerations driving that decision should be transparent. Input from those with a vested interest in
the decision should be publicly acknowledged and, where possible, the nature of the advice should be made available.
In order to minimise bias and inappropriate influence, a clear, reliable and transparent methodology for the whole
life-cycle of policy-making should be defined.
14. The public plays a critical role in influencing policy and must be included in the decision-making process
The public plays a critical role in determining what positions policy-makers will take. Unless science understands their
‘nothing for us, without us’ rights, then all sides of the equation will never truly balance out. Policy-makers are, by
and large, elected and few will take a stance to support what the scientific evidence is telling us if this means going
against the views of their electorate. The emergence of social media plays an important role here. For while new media
lends itself to the expression of strong emotion, it hardly facilitates the careful explanation of a research finding or a
policy platform by elected policy-makers. Traditional media’s capacity to explain the ins and outs of less tangible
science-policy-making is equally limited, especially when scientific consensus may not exist.
In this context, scientists must learn to find transparent ways and means to make their voices heard. The scientific
community must sharpen its message and engage the public. On their side, the public needs to better understand that
societal problems are not necessarily solvable through science. Increasing science literacy is relevant in this regard.
Democracy is best served when citizens are comfortable with science and, by extension, science policy. However it is
achieved, if the general public and their civil society actors are not included as fully as possible in decision-making by
the scientific-political establishment, the consequences will be extremely damaging.
15. Industry is an investor in knowledge generation and science and has every right to have its voice heard
Industry is not to be shunned when it comes to policy-making. As the largest investor in knowledge generation,
technology and science, it has every right to have its voice heard. Indeed, society and the policy-making process greatly
benefit from the participation of industry experts. This is especially true when it comes to newly emerging
technologies, where experts from industry and academia alike tend to have the deepest understanding and the most
thoughtful approach on how we should proceed. Nevertheless, industry is too often perceived as suffering from fatal
conflicts of interest and its views are therefore dismissed. In fact, commercial conflicts of interest are fairly easy to
deal with if they are properly declared and the relationship between the science and the marketing made explicit.
Ideological, personal or academic conflicts of interest, on the other hand, are much harder to detect or deal with.
Industry, in turn, must be better at disclosing its research methods, findings and interests and speak out more when
its competitors or sector behave inappropriately. Equally, industry should speak out more when denied access to
important policy-making or when its scientific research is poorly scrutinised or dismissed altogether. Yet, companies
are too often constrained by their own competitive, secretive and hierarchical natures. Spokespeople, not scientists,
are deployed to engage with society. If greater trust is to be built, industry should empower its scientists to speak up.
This will help industrial research to be seen to be underpinned by an inherent integrity and quality. Above all, industry
should avoid a ‘battle-ground’ mentality and the promotion of public disinformation intended to muddle the scientific
picture when competitors or policy-makers appear to be going in an unwelcome direction.