Letter from The Rt Hon Lord Drayson, Minister
for Science and Innovation, to the Chairman of the Committee,
15 December 2009
As you are aware, I have been working to establish
a set of principles to underpin the provision of independent scientific
advice to, and its use by, the Government. I am pleased to say
these Principles were published on 15 December for consultation,
and I enclose a copy for your information.
The purpose of the Principles is to clarify
the relationship between advice and policy, as well as strengthen
public trust in the process. They cover three key areastrust
and respect, independence, and transparency and opennessand
were informed by the outputs of informal meetings with, amongst
others, colleagues across government, Scientific Advisory Committees,
Learned Societies, and representatives of the science media.
I read with interest the Select Committee's
report on the treatment of independent scientific advice to government
(published 14 November 2009). I consider it to be a valuable contribution
to the Government's thinking on this issue, and will give careful
consideration to the Committee's recommendations.
I have invited the science and engineering communities,
together with other interested parties, to engage with Professor
Beddington's public consultation on updating the Guidelines for
the Use of Scientific Analysis in Policy Making, and to input
their views on the Principles published today by Government. The
consultation was launched 17 November 2009 and will close 9 February
2010. I will consider consultation inputs, alongside the Committee's
report, and expect the Government to publish finalised Principles
of Scientific Advice to Government during Spring 2010.
The Rt Hon Lord Drayson
Minister for Science and Innovation