Select Committee on Science and Technology Third Report


APPENDIX 1: AIDE-MÉMOIRE ON THE ROLE OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


The Committee's terms of reference are to consider Science and Technology.

Within this field, the Committee's function is:

  • To carry out inquiries into matters with which Parliament ought to be concerned;
  • To report to the House.

Reports can be the result of detailed study or, if need be, they can be made without detailed study in order to recommend a subject of urgent importance for debate.

Subjects for inquiry should concern one or more of the following areas:

  • Areas where Parliament can help and stimulate the advancement and application of science and technology in the United Kingdom;
  • Aspects of science and technology in which the Government are, or should be, involved;
  • The work of the statutory bodies involved in science and technology;
  • Areas where the interests of the public and the interests of science and technology may possibly conflict;
  • Areas where there is a degree of public concern over issues of science and technology.

In choosing subjects, the Committee will be selective; and they will pay special attention to the applications of science and technology, in order to identify issues likely to be of political significance.

The Committee should not:

  • Choose subjects where the scientific or technological aspect is clearly subsidiary to other considerations;
  • Choose subjects so wide that they are beyond the Committee's capability in terms of time and resources;
  • Act as a channel of generalised information and education on science and technology between Parliament and the public.

The Committee should be prepared to look again at these guidelines in light of experience.


 
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