Brain power

Key concepts for making informed choices

The world abounds with claims about what works and what doesn’t, but as we’ve documented in numerous RealKM Magazine articles, many people fail to critically assess these claims. This results in people holding and transferring knowledge that isn’t evidence-based, leading to individuals and organisations making poor decisions.

To help address this problem, an alliance of over 20 researchers from 14 different fields has published a framework of “key concepts for informed choices” in an article1 in the journal Nature. The researchers hope that professionals and scientists in all fields will make use of the concepts.

The concepts are shown in Figure 1, and further information can be found in the Nature article.

Key concepts for making informed choices
Figure 1 (click to enlarge). Key concepts for making informed choices (source: Aronson et al. 2019).

Header image: A protest against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Vancouver. Some community groups claim that GMOs have health and other negative impacts despite the evidence saying otherwise. Source: Adapted from Rosalee Yagihara on Flickr, CC BY 2.0.


  1. Aronson, J.K. et al. (2019). Key concepts for making informed choices. Nature 572, 303-306.
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Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes ( is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (, and a knowledge management (KM), environmental management, and project management professional. He is a PhD candidate in the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group at Wageningen University and Research, and holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction. His expertise and experience includes knowledge management (KM), environmental management, project management, stakeholder engagement, teaching and training, communications, research, and writing and editing. With a demonstrated ability to identify and implement innovative solutions to social and ecological complexity, Bruce's many career highlights include establishing RealKM Magazine as an award-winning resource, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee an award-winning $77.4 million western Sydney river recovery program, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support the sustainable management of landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China.

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