Mathematics and Policy

I noticed that John Phipps had posted today about the poor state of American math and science education. At the end of his post, he drew a parallel to ‘why mathematical evidence seems to carry very little weight in policy debates’.

I’m well aware of the problems with using scientific and mathematical evidence in policy debates, but never related it to a lack of education. My own experience is that there is a huge ‘barrier to entry’ in using science and math in policy discussions. Unless you are ‘preaching to the choir’… most of the decision-makers will have very little comparative experience with the evidence. No matter how relevant and accurate, it will have no meaning!