The role of evidence is crucial in ensuring a robust decision making process. We need to ensure that the highest quality science is done, with the available resources and known limitations of socioeconomic research.

Two new articles produced by researchers in the VALGENTM (Value Addition through Genomics and GE3LS) project in Canada, make this point quite powerfully. We need to set the standards by which evidence serves its role in supporting decision-making. I recommend reading these two articles:

(Mis)Reliance on Social Science Evidence in Intellectual Property Litigation: A Case Study

This article points to the urgent need for judges and lawyers to be discerning in their assessment of the reliability of social science evidence.  It then illustrates the difficulties of relying on social science evidence in intellectual property litigation by examining the admissibility of a study conducted by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) that has potential to be used in a patent case.  On the basis of this examination, the authors propose guidelines to assist courts in making determinations concerning the admissibility of social science studies.

Read the article here

Evidence-Based Policy: Understanding the Technology Landscape – E. Richard Gold and Andrew M. Baker argue that it is not just any evidence, but evidence that is collected and analysed following standard practices in a transparent manner and with an acknowledgement of the limitations of the analysis, that counts.  This article illustrates the need for greater care in collecting and communicating evidence through a discussion of an increasingly important tool used to understand and analyse innovation policy and business strategy: patent landscaping.

Click here to read the article.