Using knowledge by taking account of the results of scientific research is a preoccupation of the scientific community on which this article proposes to shed light by considering the case of Cameroon. Within the theoretical framework of actionism, the study is based on a questionnaire survey administered to a sample of 200 researchers, decision-makers, and research-commissioning bodies, complemented by interviews. The data cover commissioning, evaluation and utilisation practices over the period 1990–2001. The results show considerable differences in judgement between researchers, decision-makers, and commissioning bodies with regard to existing practices and desirable usage. The differences reflect the lack of connection between properly academic concerns and policy prospects, as well as a research funding structure in Cameroon that separates problem definition from solution implementation. Given inadequate utilisation of scientific research data in public policy, the article proposes renewed institutional forms that might encourage academicism to take account of the practical requirements of social engineering.