GO Science Publishes Document on Government’s Approach to Science

The UK Government Office for Science (GO Science), yesterday published a document setting out the Government’s approach to the management of science and engineering advice in the face of major global challenges, including climate change, food and energy security. The document, “Science and Engineering in Government: an overview of the Government’s approach”, hails advice from science and engineering as the foundation of good government, underpinning economic success and social justice. The document also outlines the Government Chief Scientific Advisor’s (CSA) role as the ‘Head of the Science and Engineering Profession in Government’.

Speaking on the launch of the report Professor John Beddington, the current Government CSA, said: “I am delighted that every major science-using department now has its own CSA. This, together with the community of Government scientists and engineers I’m developing will ensure that all levels of the policy-making process are supported by the best science and engineering.”

Despite steps made to appoint a CSA to many Government departments, a CSA is still conspicuously absent from HM Treasury, a department absolutely fundamental to Government decision-making. It is somewhat disappointing that the Government does not include HM Treasury in its considerations of “major science-using” departments.