Prove relevance to policy formulation …MP to scientists

The Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlarbi, has urged science researchers and institutions to demonstrate their relevance to policy formulation.

Mr Terlarbi said he had observed a communication gap between science and policy formulation, which has made it difficult for the populace to appreciate the work of scientists and researchers.

He, therefore, advised the scientific research community to find strategic means to ensure effective communication with the political establishment, especially Parliament.

This came to light when members of the committee yesterday paid a visit to the Food Research Institute (FRI), Animal Research Institute (ARI), Water Research Institute (WRI) and Institute of Industrial Research (IIR) in Accra.

The visit was to afford them with the opportunity to appreciate challenges and interact with the management of the research institutes.

Mr Terlarbi, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region, said “We need to bridge the communication gap between science and policy, so that information can flow effectively.

“So that we understand each other in making decisions that will ensure the mutual benefits of the political leadership and scientists,” he said.

He advised management of the Council to conduct a critical assessment of their socio-economic impact regarding how their activities contribute to the economy, saying “the committee is prepared to front for you in parliament”.

Science and technology, he noted, was the main force driving the economy but if scientists did not prove their relevance by bringing to the fore their contributions to the national economy, their efforts would not be recognised.

Professor Paul Pinnock Bosu, Director-General of the Council, in his welcome address, charged scientists and researchers to consciously embark on information dissemination drive that would enable them to be relevant.

He stated that many outputs of the council were less known, adding that visibility had been somewhat of a challenge, stressing that individual institutes were well-known and fairly known but for corporate, “we have not enjoyed that much”

“We are doing a lot but have not spent time telling our stories. All of us must start becoming storytellers,” he added.

Director of the FRI, Dr Charles Tortoe, informed the committee about some ongoing projects of the research institute.

He said the council, during the heat of the COVID -19, held series of engagement for Ghanaians interested in snail and mushroom rearing and honey harvesting to encourage job creation.

He appealed to the government to support their activities and help them commercialise their products to compete with private entities.

BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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