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.