Memorandum submitted by the Science Council
1. The Science Council welcomes the House
of Commons Science and Technology Committee's scrutiny of Government
policy and the emphasis the Committee continues to place on the
need for a strongly evidence-based approach to policy.
2. The Science Council was established by
Royal Charter in 2003 with the object to advance science
and its applications for public benefit. It is a membership organisation
for learned and professional bodies across science and its applications
and works with them to represent this sector to government and
others. The Science Council also promotes the profession of scientist
through the Chartered Scientist designation and the development
of codes of practice. In addition the Science Council supports
a range of activities to increase awareness of the role of both
science and scientists in society.
3. The Science Council has agreed a definition
of science as follows:
Science is the pursuit of knowledge and understanding
of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology
based on evidence.
4. Scientific methodology includes data
collected through objective observation or measurement; testing
hypotheses through experiment and benchmarking; deduction and
induction to establish general rules or conclusions drawn from
data, examples or evidence; critical analysis of evidence; critical
exposure to scrutiny, peer review and assessment leading to verification,
testing and repetition.
5. The Science Council is far from clear
that current Government policy relating to homeopathy is based
on evidence that meets such systematic criteria.