Call for Papers: Special Issue on Optimizing Scientific Advisory Committees

Global Challenges is inviting papers for a Special Issue on Optimizing the Institutional Design of Scientific Advisory Committees for Quality, Salience, and Legitimacy. If you are interested, please submit your paper drafts to [email protected] by June 30, 2017.


The University of Ottawa Global Strategy Lab has initiated a project that examines the relationship between the possible institutional designs of SACs and their effectiveness. Our overarching research question is what design features make SACs more effective in producing quality, relevant and legitimate advice?
Our project will identify and assess the determinants of the effectiveness of SACs and, on this basis, develop a framework and decision-support tool to inform future design and reforms of such bodies. The overall goal is to ensure a robust ecosystem of scientific advice to help maximize the chances of high-quality scientific research informs the decisions of governments, organized interests and the general public.

Recommended Topics

As part of this project we are looking for papers that identify and assess the key determinants of the effectiveness of SACs, with emphasis on institutional, contextual and proximate determinants. In particular, we are soliciting papers addressing:

  • stakeholders’ priorities for SAC design, for example through an discrete choice experiment;
  • the implications of the contemporary backlash against science for SAC design, for example through the lens of Science and Technology Studies, sociology of science and anthropology;
  • decision-making procedures and the possible virtues of disagreement and conflict (and the potential downfall of consensus);
  • qualitative evaluations of the outputs and outcomes of previous SACs considered individually or comparatively;
  • how the nature of the problem or question should or does affect the design of the SAC;
  • rules governing the selection process of SAC members and strategies to minimize unfair discrimination; and,
  • public involvement in the work of SACs, possibly drawing citizen science.

Submission Requirements

Please submit a complete draft of your paper by June 30, 2017. Following this, a series of articles on SAC effectiveness will be published in Global Challenges, an international peer-reviewed open access journal. Please adhere to the Global Challenges Author Guidelines when preparing your submission. The article processing charges will be waived for submissions to this special issue.

For more information, please click here: Call for Papers: Optimizing the Institutional Design of Scientific Advisory Committees for Quality, Salience, and Legitimacy

To Top