Lead: Christian Stamm, Eawag

In WP2, we ask what evidence on pesticides, their benefits, and negative side effects is transported in the different arenas of media, practice, and politics. In particular, we study how diverse knowledge from both research and agricultural practice eventually becomes politically effective, being used by the various actors to support their claims related to the governance of pesticide use. The aim is to identify pathways through which evidence diffuses and eventually becomes embedded in policies, as well as to identify key factors, such as actor and issue constellations, that enable or prevent the emergence of such pathways.

To study evidence use, we analyze documents from mass and trade media, as well as various types of political documents (e.g., parliamentary acts). Our comprehensive document collection is compiled to cover all debates on pesticide use in Switzerland over the past 12 years. Using a combination of different manual and automated text analysis tools, these documents allow us to capture how stakeholders use evidence when pushing for different goals and measures linked to pesticide use.

Based on our text analysis, we will be able to map how evidence was used by different actors and in different arenas as well as how this changed over time and for different issues. Furthermore, we will be able to identify evidence pathways and draw conclusions about possible barriers and catalysts to evidence-based pesticide policy.