Inquiry launched into the role of Chief Scientific Advisors

The Science and Technology Committee have launched an inquiry into the role and function of departmental Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs).

The Committee will be looking at the following aspects:

• The ability of CSAs to provide independent advice to ministers and policy makers within their departments
• The extent of their influence over research spend
• Their role in providing independent challenge and ensuring that departmental policies are evidenced-based
• The range of expertise provided by the network of CSAs
• The extent to which CSAs have authoritative standing within relevant academic, industrial or business communities, including whether they have effective networks within those communities
• The contribution of CSAs in promoting public trust in the independence and authority of science advice to government.

The Deadline for submissions is Friday 16 September 2011. Details of how to contribute can be found online. After the inquiry the Committee will hold public meetings in October and November, and publish a report of their findings in early 2012.