A summary of the contemporary community of practice for synthesis science including systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The primary goal is to examine how synthesis can be used to inform decision making. Context, synthesis, and transparency tools structure this description of an open science philosophy to approach environmental grand challenges. There are three major implications of adopting this potential workflow for scientific syntheses. 1. Synthesis can confront biases and assumptions and thus change direction of science-based policy. 2. Transparency promotes interactions between the community of practice and our philosophy of science. Sandbox-thinking and tools that support version control, iteration, review, and reuse all promote better scientific synthesis. 3. Policy always uses evidence in some form, and contemporary scientific syntheses can provide a wider breadth of elements to draw from and support stronger evidence implementation. We must endeavor to provide a diverse, accessible set of evidence outcomes from our scientific syntheses to better support policy.
This work supported by this repository: https://github.com/cjlortie/synthesis4decisions and inspired by work with Florencia Miguel and Scott Butterfield in exploring evidence for dryland restoration https://cjlortie.github.io/dryland_restoration_synthesis/#a_synthesis_of_dryland_restoration_techniques