No matter how hard scientists work, our impact will almost always be limited to our immediate academic circles if our results never catch the attention of those who have the power to act on them. These people are often policymakers — local, state or central-government officials who write laws and regulations, craft budgets and govern communities.
But effective collaboration requires strong communication. The policy world can be tricky to navigate. Institutions can seem impenetrable, and decision-making is often opaque. Fortunately, simple strategies can help scientists to communicate effectively with policymakers.