Lawmakers' use of scientific evidence can be improved

D. Max Crowley, J. Taylor Scott, Elizabeth C. Long, Lawrie Green, Azaliah Israel, Lauren Supplee, Elizabeth Jordan, Kathryn Oliver, Shannon Guillot-Wright, Brittany Gay, Rachel Storace, Naomi Torres-Mackie, Yolanda Murphy, Sandra Donnay, Jenna Reardanz, Rebecca Smith, Kristina McGuire, Elizabeth Baker, Ana Antonopoulos, Mary McCauleyCagla Giray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Core to the goal of scientific exploration is the opportunity to guide future decision-making. Yet, elected officials often miss opportunities to use science in their policymaking. This work reports on an experiment with the US Congress-evaluating the effects of a randomized, dual-population (i.e., researchers and congressional offices) outreach model for supporting legislative use of research evidence regarding child and family policy issues. In this experiment, we found that congressional offices randomized to the intervention reported greater value of research for understanding issues than the control group following implementation. More research use was also observed in legislation introduced by the intervention group. Further, we found that researchers randomized to the intervention advanced their own policy knowledge and engagement as well as reported benefits for their research following implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2012955118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 2 2021


  • Congress
  • Evidence-based policymaking
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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