Select Committee on Science and Technology Thirteenth Report

Conclusions and recommendations

Inclusion of science in titles

1.  We urge the Government to change the title of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills to include the word 'science' to reflect the importance of science within Government. (Paragraph 5)

2.  In order to reflect accurately the remit of the new committee, we recommend that the Leader of the House bring forward Standing Order changes to change the name of the Innovation, Universities and Skills Select Committee to include the word 'science'. (Paragraph 7)

Cross-Government Scrutiny

3.  We urge the new Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee to continue the current Committee's cross-departmental scrutiny approach to ensure that the whole range of science policy within Government is included within its scope. (Paragraph 16)

Research Council Scrutiny

4.  We urge our successor Committee to set out at an early date how it will undertake scrutiny of the Research Councils. (Paragraph 20)

Science Question Time

5.  We urge the new Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee to continue the tradition of ministerial scrutiny through Science Question Time. (Paragraph 22)

Science policy community

6.  We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to the science policy community, not only for its recent representations regarding the future of the Committee, but also for its support in the forms of evidence to inquiries, and assistance with visits, throughout the existence of the Committee. (Paragraph 30)

Treatment of evidence

7.  We encourage the new Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee to explore how the declaration of interests and expertise from witnesses can be built into the inquiry process and urge the Liaison Committee to consider this approach for all select committees. (Paragraph 33)

8.  We call upon the new Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee to explore the current terminology to avoid confusion between 'evidence' in its scientific/research sense and as a description for submissions and whether there is merit in recommending that the Liaison Committee consider this issue. (Paragraph 34)

Future science scrutiny in the Commons

9.  We believe that in the long term a separate Science and Technology Committee is the only way to guarantee a permanent focus on science across Government within the select committee system. We recommend that the House be given an opportunity to revisit the question of science scrutiny in the Commons at the end of session 2007-08. (Paragraph 38)

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