HKUST PPOL Newsletter Fall 2023

Four idealized roles for scientists in decision-making (Source: “The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Policy and Politics” by R. A. Pielke Jr.) 32 Conference and Events Prof. Gietel-Basten delivering the keynote speech on Day 2 of the AP|PPN Conference play in policy advising, as shown in the figure below, and whatever advice given towards decision-making is policy advice, whether it is science advice, expert advice, or political advice. Professor Pielke Jr. gave some famous examples of advisory mechanisms, namely science, expert, political, and policy advice, and presented his research results under the context of Covid-19 pandemic. The Emergency of Science Advice in a Pandemic Emergency (EScAPE) of Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan during the Covid-19 pandemic were compared in his presentation, and examples of countries or regions that neglected (the US) or those that failed to incorporate expert advice (the UK, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong) can be generally be interpreted as a policy failure, followed by a comparison of how countries balance between economic growth and control of the Covid-19 pandemic, examples include the US, Dutch (the shadow advisory), the UK, Italy. Prof. Pielke emphasized that policy requires integration, not different islands of expertise. The concepts of shadow science advice, adversarial governance, stealth advocacy, and misplaced accountability were explained. Keynote Speech by Professor Stuart Gietel-Basten Prof. Gietel-Basten, Professor in social science and public policy at HKUST, author of the book “Why Demography Matters?” gave his keynote on “Is Demographic ‘Crisis’ an Inevitable Consequence of the Development Welfare State?” He pointed out the challenge posed by low fertility and the failure of two-dimensional pronatalist policies suggesting that the governments in Asia fail to address the fundamental and multidimensional causes of low fertility. Prof. Gietel-Basten presented the possible socio-theoretical reasons behind the low fertility rate: compressed modernity and the accelerated pace of changes in Asia as compared with Europe; clash of ideologies across generations; risks placed on the new generations’ shoulders arising out of the transition from family/ community collective to individual responsibility; inadequate social cushioning during the transition to compressed modernity; the work no.1 obligation; predominant strength of political and industrial authority; the compounding effect of education fever without enough familyraising support; lack of incentive to support people in work; the existential threat due to persistent gender inequalities, the dualization of the labor market, etc.. Looking forward to the future regarding this issue, Prof. Gietel-Basten suggested that there should be inclusive family policy responsive to the changes in the world, and to accelerate the gender attitudinal shift with zero tolerance for gender-based violence and discrimination. A social protection system should be set up early.