Do we need "more research" or better implementation through knowledge brokering?
More research is needed is an iconic catchphrase used by scientists worldwide. Yet policy and management decisions are continually being made with variable levels of reliance on scientific knowledge. Funding agencies have provided incentives for knowledge exchange at the interfaces between science and policy or practice, yet it remains the exception rather than the rule within academic institutions. An important step forward would be the establishment and professionalization of knowledge brokering (i.e., as a complement to existing technology transfer and communications departments). This would require an explicit commitment of resources by both funding agencies and institutions. Many academic scientists are genuinely interested in the applications of their research. This interest could be stimulated by providing support for the process of knowledge brokering and by integrating the natural, social, and engineering sciences to address broad policy- and practice-relevant questions.