Select Committee on Science and Technology Fourth Report


Sources of scientific advice


14. The Council for Science and Technology is described by OST as "the Government's premier advisory body".[30] Its purpose is to advise the Prime Minister on the strategic policies and framework for Science and Technology in the UK. The Council was originally established in 1993, following the Realising Our Potential White Paper, to replace the Advisory Committee on Science and Technology (ACOST), but had little impact. It was re-established in March 1998, with new terms of reference and with an enlarged membership, "in order to increase its effectiveness, profile and prominence". The Council is chaired by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (though the Minutes suggest that he has only attended one of its meetings since he took office, and that the chair has normally been taken by the Minister for Science). The Chief Scientific Adviser acts as Deputy Chairman, and there are currently 15 independent members drawn from academia and industry. The full Council meets quarterly with more frequent meetings held by sub-groups. The new Council has to date published one "annual report", in March 2000, on its work in 1998-99, and three substantive reports:

    —  a review of Science and Technology matters across Government (July 1999);

    —  a report on the exploitation of Science and Technology by UK business (February 2000); and

    —  a report on Science Teachers (also February 2000).

Its website publishes membership, work schedule, and minutes of meetings.[31] The Council appears to be active, yet its public profile remains low. The most recent press notice appearing on its website was dated March 2000. It has attracted little attention in even the technical/scientific media. As we discuss in paragraph 44 below, it is also unclear what influence the Council's reports have had on government policy. We recommend that the Government give more prominence to the activities of the Council for Science and Technology and respond to its recommendations.


15. The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) is responsible for advising the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on science and technology matters, and for the quality of scientific advice within Government. As Head of the Office of Science and Technology he is responsible for its transdepartmental functions, advising Ministers and co-ordinating strategy on science and technology matters across Government. In this, the CSA is supported by the OST's Transdepartmental Science and Technology Group (TDSTG).

16. Sir Robert May, CSA since 1995, was replaced by Professor David King in October 2000. When the CSA post was advertised in the Spring of 2000, we noted that applications were invited only from "scientists". We wrote to the Secretary of State suggesting that this was unfortunate since the CSA's remit covers not only science but also engineering and technology. In his response, the Secretary of State assured us that engineers of a first class international reputation would be considered for the post. The successful candidate is, in fact, a surface chemist.

17. The publication of the May Guidelines on The Use of Scientific Advice in Policy Making in March 1997 was widely welcomed.[32] They were written with clarity and good sense, and responded to a need which had not previously been addressed. The revised Guidelines 2000, published with the Science and Innovation White Paper in July 2000, have also been well received.[33] In its Interim Response to the Phillips Report, the Government has suggested that "there is scope for preparing more detailed guidance to departments"and proposes that the Chief Scientific Adviser should "adopt the practice of writing to Permanent Secretaries, setting out good practice on arrangements for handling scientific advice and for managing research within their departments".[34] We commend the proposal that the Chief Scientific Adviser will write regular "good practice" letters to Permanent Secretaries, and that these will be made public. We recommend that the Government also revise and reissue the Guidelines 2000 in the light of the Phillips Report and our recommendations.

18. The publication by OST of annual reports on the implementation of the Guidelines in 1998 and in 1999 was, we believe, helpful as a spur to action across Government. We are not clear, however, why the Third Report - anticipated by Sir Robert May in the Second Report - has been delayed. This is regrettable. The OST should be more active in encouraging consistency of standards in science policy across Whitehall. As we concluded in our 2000 Report on Government Expenditure on Research and Development: The Forward Look, "the co-ordination role of the OST and the CSA should be enhanced, with a more explicit remit to intervene, where necessary, with departments".[35] It is important that Ministers in all relevant Departments should support the OST and strengthen it in its role of co-ordinating science policy across Government.

19. At the same time as it published the Guidelines 2000, the OST issued a draft Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees for consultation. This exercise closed in December 2000 and according to OST, over 50 responses were received, generally "substantial and of high quality". The OST is currently redrafting the Code in the light of the consultation and the recommendations contained in the Phillips Report.[36] It is intended to circulate the redraft for a second round of consultation in March, and to publish the final version later in the year. We urge the Government to publish the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees as soon as possible. This is not a party political matter, and it should not be delayed by the expected General Election.


20. A number of Departments have their own Chief Scientist or equivalent, whose role within their department is analogous to that of the CSA - primarily to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the research commissioned by their department.[37] They also have responsibility for ensuring that their Department's procedures are consistent with OST guidelines. Departmental chief scientists meet together regularly as the Chief Scientific Adviser's Committee (CSAC), with the CSA in the Chair. (CSAC replaced the Economic Affairs Science and Technology Committee of Officials (EASO) in 1999.)[38] CSAC's remit is to discuss Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) policy and spread good practice; and also to provide advice to Ministers, primarily through the Ministerial Science Group.

21. During our inquiry into the Government's expenditure on Research and Development in 2000, we were concerned to hear from the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) that he did not have direct access to the CSA: contact at that time was via the Department's Permanent Secretary.[39] As we stated in our Report, "bureaucratic conventions about lines of reporting should not stand in the way of allowing Chief Scientist unfettered access to the CSA on matters of departmental concern".[40] It is essential that Chief Scientists in Departments should have direct day-to-day access to the Chief Scientific Adviser.


22. While the Chief Scientific Adviser is Head of the Office of Science and Technology, he is not responsible for advising on the allocation of the OST's budget. Sir Robert May told us that it was "crucially important that I not be in any way confused with chief scientists within any one department but stand above them all so that I can even-handedly offer advice".[41] We endorse this view. Responsibility for allocation of the science budget falls to the Director General of Research Councils (DGRC) (currently Dr John Taylor[42]), supported by the OST's Science and Engineering Base Group.[43] The DGRC advises the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the allocation of the Science Budget to the seven Research Councils [44] and sets the broad framework within which the Research Councils decide what science to fund and how. In setting this framework the DGRC must ensure that the Government's existing, and future, needs for scientific research and advice are able to be met.

23. Within the broad framework of the Science Budget, it is, however, for the Research Councils to set their own priorities. They are responsible for supporting basic and strategic research and postgraduate training in their particular area of science. They are also charged with the tasks of providing advice, disseminating knowledge and promoting public understanding of their scientific field. They fund research both in their own research establishments and in the universities. According to the OST, "one of their [the Research Councils'] most important contributions to providing advice is the indirect one of maintaining the health of the Science and Engineering Base so that it can respond to unexpected needs".[45] But they also provide advice directly, through membership of advisory committees, through their Chief Executives' meetings with the DGRC, and in response to specific requests for Government. Research Council research establishments have a major part in scientific advice to Government, as we discuss below.


24. The Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs) are, in OST's words, "a key element in the Government science and technology advisory system".[46] There are over 50 of these establishments, sponsored either by the Research Councils or directly by Government Departments.[47] During the course of our case studies, we have looked at the work of several of these establishments, including the Meteorological Office (an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which also receives funding from DETR), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (a NERC establishment), the National Radiological Protection Board (Department of Health) and the Roslin Institute (BBSRC). We have recently visited the Defence Evaluation Research Agency (an executive agency of MoD) at Porton Down.

25. Since 1994, there have been a number of structural changes in the PSREs. A few have been privatised (for example, the Building Research Establishment and the Laboratory of the Government Chemist). The majority have remained in the public sector but have been encouraged to work on a more business-like basis. We consider in paragraph 78 below how this is affecting the scientific advisory system.


26. The Government also receives scientific advice from a wide variety of departmental advisory bodies. These are committees or groups of outside experts (and, in some cases, civil servants) of many different kinds, and of widely varying purpose. The OST's memoranda distinguish three categories of advisory bodies:

27. Our inquiry has focussed on the first category. The OST memorandum lists over 50 of these scientific advisory committees.[49] The largest number, 23[50], are sponsored by DETR, which helpfully divides its advisory committees into those advising on science at a basic level (the Climate Change Impacts Review Group and the Hadley Centre Science Review Group, for example, which featured in our Climate Change case study); those building on advice, to provide a risk analysis (the Marine Pollution Management Group and the Biocides Usage Group, for example); and those building on advice and risk analysis, to make policy recommendations (the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, for example, and the Honorary Medical Advisory Panels on Medical Conditions and Driving, of which the Diabetes Sub-Committee was the focus of our case study on Diabetes and Driving Licenses). The Department of Health sponsors 12, including the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) and the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA). MAFF has 10 advisory committees. Among these, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes featured in our GM Foods case study, and the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) was closely studied in the Phillips Report. The Health and Safety Commission and Executive have 11; MoD has three; and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) two. These advisory committees do not conform to any one model. They are committees of experts, but some include civil servants as well as outside advisors.[51] Most are chaired by an independent specialist.

28. In our case studies, we have also looked at the work of a few of those committees which are described as advising Government on policy more generally.[52] These include the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (DETR), the Inter-Agency Committee on Global Environmental Change (OST) and the National Radiological Protection Board (Department of Health)[53].

29. We are aware that the list of advisory committees supplied by OST in May 1999 [54]- and therefore these statistics - are already out of date. We recommend that Government publish an annual list of scientific advisory committees, with details of membership (including registered interests) and terms of reference, perhaps in the annual report on the implementation of the Guidelines.


30. Since we began our inquiry, the Government has created three new "strategic" scientific advisory bodies:

Although often grouped together, each of the three bodies has a different status.[55] The HGC and AEBC are advisory commissions established by the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office (and the three devolved administrations) respectively. The FSA, on the other hand, is a non-Ministerial Government Department, established by Act of Parliament: it has a statutory basis and a range of executive functions, as well as an advisory role. When our predecessor Committee recommended the establishment of a Human Genetics Commission in its 1995 Report on Human Genetics, it recommended that it be given, similarly, a statutory basis.[56] We regret that the Government did not accept this recommendation. The status accorded different advisory bodies at present appears haphazard. Careful consideration should be given to the formal status of new advisory bodies before they are established.

31. The three new bodies are not just committees of scientists: they include in their membership journalists and representatives of consumer, green and other interest groups. They are therefore much more political, in the widest sense, than traditional advisory committees. Their role goes beyond assessment of the science: they are to look at the "big picture", taking ethical and social issues into account, as well as the science.[57] All three bodies have made a good start. They have made a point of engaging with the public: the HGC, for example, has recently held a public information-gathering and discussion day on genetics and insurance. They have adopted high standards of openness and transparency: their easily accessible websites contains the minutes of their meetings, registers of interests and workplans.[58]

32. The Science and Innovation White Paper states -

    "These Commissions face a challenging task, bringing together widely difficult views on very difficult issues and working under public view. If they are successful, they will provide models for the future. The Government will watch their work closely to see what lessons can be translated into other areas.".[59]

We welcome the new strategic advisory bodies and, like the Government, will be watching their work with interest. However, it is essential that Ministers do not hide behind these bodies on issues of policy, for it is Ministers who are responsible for policy decisions.


33. As evidence from the DETR states, "a development over recent years has been the "globalisation" of the science assessment and risk assessment process", reflecting the increasing degree to which Government policy is developed in international fora.[60] Where policy is being made on an international basis - either by supranational bodies, such as the European Union, or by intergovernmental negotiation - international advisory mechanisms may be necessary. We welcome the Government's assurance that it is working to ensure that the principles underlying good scientific decision making are adopted by international bodies.[61] We support the recommendation of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee that the Government should press for guidelines on scientific advice across the board, along the lines of the OST guidelines, to be adopted at European Commission level.[62]

34. During our case study on Scientific Advice on Climate Change we looked at the way in which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) operates.[63] The IPCC involves many hundreds of climate scientists from around the world, covering a wide range of disciplines and a variety of opinions. Its reports are very lengthy and detailed documents, which are subject to extended peer review, and to very widespread scrutiny before publication by scientists and by Governments. The IPCC is generally held in very high regard, and it has been suggested that it be used as a model for scientific advice on other issues of complexity and global concern, such as, for example, GM technology and ocean pollution. At the OECD Edinburgh conference on the scientific and health aspects of genetically modified foods in February 2000, it was proposed that there should be an international forum to provide Governments with authoritative assessments of the latest GM technology. This would be along the lines of the IPCC, but it would include both scientists and stakeholders. We reiterate the recommendation made in our climate change case study Report, that the Government actively promote the IPCC model of scientific advice in other policy areas of global significance in which there is scientific uncertainty.

35. Even where policy is being decided within the UK, it may well be useful to obtain advice from abroad. We are fortunate that the UK science base is broad, but there is often much to be gained from a wider perspective; and international involvement may increase public confidence in the advice provided. Scientific research is increasingly conducted by international collaboration. We welcome the statement in the Guidelines that, when Departments are establishing advisory committees, "consideration should be given where appropriate to inviting experts from outside the UK, for example those from European or international advisory mechanisms, particularly in cases where other countries have experience on, or are likely to be affected by, the issue under consideration".[64] The Government should make full use of scientific experience abroad, and include experts from abroad on advisory committees, where appropriate. This has rarely been the case in the past.


36. The OST's memorandum states that "the Government works closely with a range of other organisations as appropriate", including the Learned Bodies (the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Professional Institutions etc) and independent bodies of experts (for example, the Standing Committee on Structural Safety).[65] The Learned Bodies, however, think that the Government fails to pay them sufficient attention. The Royal Society of Chemistry argued that the scientific, learned and professional societies were "undervalued and underused as sources of scientific advice", and pointed out that the May Guidelines made virtually no mention of them. It suggested that "it can be a matter merely of historical accident as to who is consulted and who is not in a given area", and that the Government wrongly perceived the scientific societies to be interested only in academic, and not in industrial issues.[66] The Royal Society recommended that "the Government should make much more use of independent, external sources of advice", and pointed out that advice from "independent bodies of international reputation ... brings with it the endorsement of internationally recognised peers".[67]

37. In our view, the Learned Bodies are an invaluable source of authoritative scientific advice, and it is surprising that Government Departments appear not to consult them as a matter of routine. They are particularly well-placed to advise on the selection of scientists to serve on advisory committees, and to advise which disciplines it would be appropriate to include. And given that some Learned Bodies are partly public funded, it is only right that they should be expected to contribute advice to Government. We note that the Guidelines 2000 indicate that Departments might draw on learned societies, among others, in identifying appropriate experts and that, in its Interim Response to the Phillips Report, the Government states that it will consider placing this on a more formal basis.[68] We recommend that the OST ensure that Departments consult the Learned Bodies whenever establishing a new advisory body.

38. Several of the Learned Bodies and professional institutions complained to us that, when they are consulted by Government, on draft policy documents for example, the time allowed for consultation is inadequate.[69] This can give the impression that the consultation is little more than cosmetic. The Institute of Biology suggested that there should be a minimum of two months allowed from receipt of consultation papers to the deadline for delivery of advice.[70] The Royal Society of Chemistry called for a Consultation Concordat between the Government and the scientific community with a Code of Practice setting out the responsibilities of each to ensure that the consultation system works efficiently and effectively.[71] The Government must allow a reasonable time for outside bodies to respond to consultation. Furthermore, to demonstrate that the consultation has been genuine, we recommend that the Government adopt the practice of publishing a summary of the results of consultation.

39. The Learned Bodies and professional institutions regularly act proactively to produce reports on subjects they regard as important and of interest to policymakers. Government must take proper account of these reports - and be seen to be taking account of them. We note that the Home Affairs Committee has recently elicited and published a full response from the Home Office to the Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (the Runciman Report).[72] We should be pleased to act similarly, if circumstances require it. Government should be aware that we will consider using our powers to insist on a memorandum from the Government responding in full to the recommendations made in reports by the Learned Bodies.

40. The Government could also commission reports from the Learned Bodies, where appropriate. In our climate change Report, we recommend that the Government establish a new independent advisory committee to advise Government on climate change.[73] To underline its independence, and to build on the work that the Royal Society is already doing in this field, we suggested that the new committee might be jointly established by Government and by the Royal Society, perhaps along the US National Academy of Science / National Research Council model. (In the USA, the Government buys in advice on a contractual basis from the National Research Council, an independent body established by the National Academy of Science.) This model might also be appropriate in other areas. Involving the Learned Bodies more closely in the scientific advisory system would be a straightforward way of demonstrating its independence.

The Government's role


41. It is clear that there is a wide range of sources of scientific advice available to Government. It appears to us that advisory committees respond well, for the most part, when asked for information or to respond to questions, but the system is not proactive; indeed, in some cases this is precluded by their terms of reference. If advisory committees are not asked the right questions, important scientific information may never be brought to the Government's attention. As the Phillips Report has stated, "the progress of research and the implications of any new developments must be kept under continuous and open review".[74] All advisory committees should be allowed to operate more proactively, monitoring developments in scientific research in their field and alerting the Government to relevant change.

42. A key issue for Government is to ensure that there is a sound research base on which advice can be based. In all our case studies we have found that there are serious gaps in research.[75] We have also found that where issues cross departmental boundaries - as they do on GM foods, mobile phones and climate change, for example - there is frequently inadequate co-ordination of the research being commissioned by the different Departments, and insufficient cross-fertilisation of ideas. We welcome the Government's commitment to joined-up work and policy development, and its proposal "to use increased openness to help identify areas of potential weakness in the research map".[76] It is vital that research is adequately co-ordinated, and that any gaps in research needed to inform policy are identified and addressed, with funding made available. The research programme must do more than meet policymakers' current needs for information: it must try to anticipate the advice required in future years.

43. Of course, anticipating the needs of policymakers years ahead is far from easy. Departments must ensure that they have enough well-qualified science and engineering personnel in-house who are in touch with their professional communities. Departments should also encourage the Research Councils and the Learned Bodies to provide them with foresight of potential scientific developments. And it should be made clear in the terms of reference of advisory bodies that it is their role to look ahead and advise Departments of issues which may face policymakers in years ahead.


44. It also falls to Government to assess the advice it receives. One of the lessons identified in the Phillips Report is that "Departments should retain "in house" sufficient expertise to ensure that the advice of advisory committees, and the reasoning behind it, can be understood and evaluated".[77] In its Interim Response, the Government states that the OST is "conducting scoping and exploratory work to identify present and future needs for scientific staff and, in particular, the expertise needed to handle effectively advice from scientific advisory committees."[78] Consultation is expected on this in the Summer. In our GM foods Report, we noted evidence from the Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists (IPMS) that scientific expertise in the civil service was being degraded, and that the separation of the central civil service from the PSREs and scientific agencies had reduced the natural flow of scientists from active science to scientific policy making.[79] The Council for Science and Technology highlighted the need to ensure that Departments had sufficient high quality people with knowledge and experience of science and engineering in their 1999 Review of S&T Activity across Government. Yet this significant issue was not given prominence in the latest Science White Paper. During our visit to the USA, we noted that there were a large number of experienced scientists in high levels of Government there. The Government must take steps to ensure that there is sufficient scientific expertise within the civil service, so that Departments may be "intelligent customers" and have the capacity to interpret and understand the advice they receive.

45. The Phillips Report recommends that advice should normally be in writing, in terms that can be understood by a layperson, should state the reasons for conclusions and any underlying assumptions, and where appropriate should set out the different policy options and the implications of each.[80] This has always been the practice of many advisory committees - the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes, for example - and is now incorporated in the Guidelines. In our Climate Change Report, we commend the "Summaries for Policymakers" provided in the IPCC's assessment reports; though we noted that focusing attention on summaries which presented the consensus view might limit the IPCC's effectiveness in communicating the extent of the uncertainties of climate change science.[81] It is incumbent on advisory bodies to present their advice in a way which is clear and comprehensible, while identifying any uncertainty and dissent as well as their consensus view.


46. The purpose of the scientific advisory system is to inform the Government of scientific matters relevant to policy decisions. How Government uses advice in policy-making is therefore a test of the effectiveness of the scientific advisory system.

Scientific uncertainty and the precautionary principle

47. A central issue for Government is how it handles scientific uncertainty and risk. This has been a recurring theme in our inquiry, and is one of the central issues of the Phillips Report. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, in its Report on Science and Society, addressed the problem of communicating uncertainty and risk, and concluded that there were no easy answers.[82] In our climate change Report, we commend the formula for expressing degrees of uncertainty which is adopted in the IPCC's summaries for policymakers, and suggest that this could usefully be adopted by other advisory bodies.[83] We believe that the public is well able to understand uncertainties, if they are clearly presented.

48. When faced with scientific uncertainty, the Government may be required to apply the precautionary principle. In the Government's words, the precautionary principle "holds that absence of scientific proof should not delay or prevent proportionate measures to remove or reduce threats of serious harm".[84] The precautionary principle, or approach, is frequently applied by policymakers. We have seen it applied in our case studies. It is applied in the Government's response to climate change, in the labelling requirements for GM foods, and in preventing people with diabetes from driving. In each case there was some evidence, not yet overwhelming, of a problem which might lead to serious circumstances. Sadly, the precautionary principle was not applied by Government in relation to policy on BSE. As the Phillips Report finds, "the importance of precautionary measures should not be played down on the grounds that the risk is unproved". We welcome the Government's commitment to applying the precautionary principle where appropriate.[85] We recognise, however, that whether to apply the precautionary principle in a particular case is essentially a political decision, and rightly the responsibility of elected Ministers. While scientists can offer useful advice about the magnitude of the risks involved, public opinion plays a major part in persuading Government to apply - or not to apply - the precautionary principle.

49. Firmly linked to the precautionary principle, however, is a principle of proportionality. The Government should take that action which is proportionate to the risk. In its Interim Response to the Phillips Report, the Government states that its approach is "to make available to the public sufficient information about a risk, in a form that is easily understood, so that individuals can make their own choices"; but that where "the risks are taken involuntarily, affect vulnerable groups, such as children, or where the hazard is widespread the public expects government to ensure that measures are in place to protect them". The Government acknowledges that "a balance needs to be struck between intervening too much ... and failing to help protect them sufficiently from actual or potential hazards".[86] In our Diabetes Report, for example, we concluded that the outright ban on insulin-treated diabetics from driving heavier road vehicles was an unjustifiably severe application of the precautionary principle.[87] The Government must ensure that its response is proportionate to the potential threat. The Minister for Science, through the Chief Scientific Adviser, should ensure that the precautionary principle is properly understood, and applied where appropriate, across Government.

Intragovernmental co-ordination

50. In a number of areas we have found that communication of advice between Government Departments, and even within Departments, is inadequate. We have noted, for example, the importance of effective co-ordination between the several Whitehall departments involved in responding to climate change, and also between central and local government. The Phillips Report has emphasised this point, calling for advice to be "circulated to all within government with responsibility for policy decisions in respect of which the advice is relevant".[88] In response, the Government has acknowledged that, while papers are routinely circulated around Departments, there may be a need for supplementary guidance on the internal handling of scientific advice within Departments.[89] The Government must ensure that scientific advice is disseminated effectively amongst policymakers.

30   Evidence HC 796-i, p 6, paragraph 5.3. See also Evidence, pp 4-6, paragraphs 32-44. Back

31   See . Back

32   Eg Evidence HC 465, pp 31, 37. Back

33   Evidence received by the Committee in relation to its inquiry "Are We Realising Our Potential?": to be published. Back

34   Cm 5049, paragraphs 4.7 and 4.10. Back

35   Fifth Report, Session 1999-2000, Government Expenditure on Research and Development: The Forward Look, HC 196-I, paragraph 134. Back

36   Evidence, p 1, paragraph 4. Back

37   Evidence HC 796-i, p 8, paragraph 5.13, and pp 13-15. Back

38   Evidence, pp 6-7, paragraph 52-54. Back

39   Minutes of Evidence, Wednesday 2 February 2000, HC 196-i, Session 1999-2000: Qq 114-128.  Back

40   Fifth Report, Session 1999-2000, Government Expenditure on Research and Development: The Forward Look, HC 196-I, paragraph 133. Back

41   Q 32. Back

42   Dr Taylor gave evidence to us on the role of the DGRC on 8 December 1999: see Minutes of Evidence, HC 81-i, Session 1999-2000. Back

43   Evidence HC 796-i, p 7, paragraph 5.9. Back

44   The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC)). The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering are also funded in part from the Science Budget. Back

45   Evidence HC 796-i, p 7, paragraph 5.11. Back

46   Evidence HC 796-i, p 8, paragraph 5.14. Back

47   For a list of PSREs, see Evidence HC 465, p 127, Annex 1. Back

48   Evidence HC 796-i, p 8, paragraph 5.17. Back

49   Evidence HC 465, pp 128-137. Back

50   A number of these are jointly sponsored with another department. Back

51   For example, the UK Climate Change Impacts Programme Steering Committee, Evidence HC 465, p 131. Back

52   See Evidence HC 465, pp 138-140. Back

53   This is classed both as an advisory body and as a PSRE. Back

54   See Evidence HC 465, pp 128-141. Back

55   See Evidence, pp 1-4, paragraphs 5-31. Back

56   Third Report, Session 1994-95, Human Genetics: the science and its consequences, HC 41-I, paragraph 287. Back

57   Evidence, p 4, paragraph 26. Back

58   See ; ; and . Back

59   Cm 4814, chapter 4, paragraph 29. Back

60   Evidence HC 796-i, p 33.  Back

61   Cm 5049, paragraph 4.14. Back

62   HL Paper 38, paragraph 4.9. Back

63   HC 14, paragraphs 6-9. Back

64   Guidelines 2000, paragraph 13. Back

65   HC 796-i, Evidence, p 8, paragraph 5.18. Back

66   HC 465, Evidence, pp 101-102. Back

67   HC 465, Evidence, pp 65-66, paragraph 8. Back

68   Cm 5049, p 71, finding 108. Back

69   Eg Evidence HC 465, pp 34, 40, 100. Back

70   Evidence HC 465, p 41. Back

71   Evidence HC 465, p 101. Back

72   Second Special Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 2000-01, HC 226. See also Third Special Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 2000-01, Work of the Committee in the 1997 Parliament, HC 248,

paragraph 6. Back

73   HC 14, paragraph 20. Back

74   HC 887-I, paragraph 1289. Back

75   See eg Climate change HC 14, paragraph 25. Back

76   Cm 5049, paragraphs 4.24 and 7.7ff. Back

77   HC 887-I, paragraph 1290. Back

78   Cm 5049, paragraph 4.13. Back

79   HC 286-I, paragraph 78. Back

80   HC 887-I, paragraph 1290. Back

81   HC 14, paragraph 8. Back

82   HL Paper 38, Chapter 4, and Summary, paragraph 10. Back

83   HC 14, paragraph 27. Back

84   Cm 5049,paragraph 6.14. Back

85   Cm 5049, p 76. Back

86   Cm 5049, paragraphs 6.5-6.6. Back

87   HC 206-I, paragraphs 13- 24. Back

88   HC 887-I, paragraph 1290. Back

89   Cm 5049, p 74, finding 129. Back

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