Science and Transformational Leadership

Society largely depends on the advances of science and its discoveries. Hence, the importance of taking it into account in social and governmental decision-making.
Dr. Jorge E. Valdez-García illustration
"When available, evidence should be incorporated into the leadership practices and factors that influence decision-making in governments and organizations". (Illustration: Tavo Montañez/TecScience).

By Jorge E. Valdez

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement.”

–Marie Curie

Science is a great collective enterprise that creates knowledge, improves education, and raises quality of life.

It’s an iterative process of building knowledge that allows us to modify, amplify, and combine ideas to generate more robust explanations and teach society to develop new technologies, solve practical problems, and make decisions based on evidence.

Science is a diverse and challenging field of study. Understanding the problems that society and governments are facing, seeking relevant solutions, and contributing to public policies and public understanding of science are part and parcel of being scientists, as well as their social obligation. They play an important role in educating those who are not scientists on its processes and content. 

Thanks to leadership in different scientific sectors and teamwork, science has advanced in several directions, and society depends to a large extent on it and its discoveries.

These leaders of science have developed a certain power of influence through their works and contribution to society. Their vision inspires many, as they not only possess ample knowledge of their subject but also have completed numerous investigations and learned from their experience and results, basing their actions on facts. 

When available, evidence should be incorporated into the leadership practices and factors that influence decision-making in governments and organizations. There are four sources of information: professional experience and judgment, context, the perspectives of the people who will be affected by decisions, and the best available scientific evidence. As with evidence-based medicine, the latter does not replace experience but is combined with it to achieve the best results.

Leaders and followers find meaning and purpose in their work through transformational leadership. The culture created by transformational leaders is innovative and change-oriented; it is open and supports new ideas. Leaders should act as role models for evidence-based decision-making if they expect their followers to also participate in these practices. It is imperative that they set an example and foster a culture and environment that enable practice and innovation based on scientific evidence.

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