Monday, March 30, 2020

Michael Wiseman, longtime APPAM member, passes away

APPAM mourns the loss of distinguished member Prof. Michael Wiseman, a Research Professor of Public Policy, Public Administration, and Economics at the GW Institute of Public Policy.


Session Summary: The Two-Way Street: A Conversation Among Policymakers and Researchers about Strategies for Successful Researcher-policymaker Interaction

Paige Pierce is a master's student at George Washington University.


  • Leigh Bordley, Durham Public Schools
  • Tom Brock, National Center for Education Research
  • Jenni Owen, Duke University
  • Matt Stagner – Mathematica Policy Research

This session was moderated by Matt Stagner of Mathematica Policy Research, who led off this conversation with the comment that this panel evaluates how the relationship between policymakers and researchers have been operating more as a one-way street, but that the need is for this to be a two-way street dialogue.

The panelist were: Jenni Owen at the Duke University, Leigh Bordley at Durham Public Schools, and Tom Brock at the National Center for Education Research.

Leigh Bordley, stated that she was so surprised about how passionate the researchers were about getting their data and reports to policymakers, and said that the way she now viewed the relationship should be more about how policymakers could contribute and adjust to make the collaboration between researchers and policymakers more effective.

She noted that most policymakers like most people, consider themselves experts on what they do and what they have experienced, leading to the view that the addition of research is not useful and sometime unnecessary. This thinking she said, has become dangerous and detrimental to making effective policy changes. 

Both Jenni Owen and Tom Brock, identified that there needs to be adjustments made to the type of research being disseminated and targeting the research to the appropriate audiences. The common theme and agreement amongst all of the panelists is that the transactions between these two communities needs to be more about partnerships than anything else.


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