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Chapter 3: Minding the Gap Between Research and Policymaking
Subway riders in London are constantly warned to “mind the gap,” the dangerous and unbridgeable space between the subway platform and the train. Unwary riders who fail to heed this advice may suffer a variety of unpleasant consequences, ranging from scuffed shoes to broken ankles.
In this essay, we warn readers to mind a different gap, the one between researchers and policymakers. Researchers often bemoan the fact that policymakers fail to take research findings into account when making policy choices (Weiss, 1977). For their part, policymakers complain that research fails to provide answers to the questions they are obliged to address. There is agreement on both sides that the current state of affairs ...