Putting Science and Engineering at the Heart of Government Policy - Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee Contents


215. There are lot of positives to take from our inquiry. We have been impressed by the seriousness with which the Government takes the issue of specialist advice from scientists and engineers. Significant strides have already been taken—for example, the increasing use of Chief Scientific Advisers and the growth of a scientific and engineering community in the civil service—and we were pleased to hear that the Government is planning to make further improvements, such as install a Chief Scientific Adviser in the Treasury.[199] The recommendations we have made in the report will hopefully go some way to enhancing the good work that has already taken place.

216. During the course of the inquiry, we have considered a number of important issues: the structures that deliver science and engineering advice; strategic priorities of research funding; consultation; funding principles; accountability and scrutiny. What we believe is missing is a broad vision for science and engineering in the UK; a vision for how science and engineering fits into the Government's strategic plans for UK plc. We close this inquiry by urging the Government to raise its game. When it turns its attention to updating the Science Framework, we recommend that the Government consult widely with a view to producing a successor ten-year science and engineering strategy that is both tangible and ambitious. We suggest that built into this strategy—in the spirit of scientific and engineering endeavour—should be an assessment of what benefits, if any, are delivered by putting science and engineering at the heart of Government policy.

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