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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
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The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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For United Kingdom, Advice on Science Advice
18 April 2013 3:10 pm
A group of scientists and policymakers has released a collection of essays today discussing how the United Kingdom's civil service, Whitehall, can make better use of scientific advice. Release of the essays, Future Directions for Scientific Advice in Whitehall, is timed to coincide with a conference held today at the University of Cambridge's Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP). The meeting included the first major public speech by the United Kingdom's new chief scientific adviser, Mark Walport, who took office on 1 April. Walport, former director of the Wellcome Trust, highlighted the importance of scientific advice in the development and implementation of government policy in his remarks.
The essays originated with a series of seminars developed last summer by a group of five partners, including CSaP, the University of Sussex's Science and Technology Policy Research center, and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills's Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre. Whitehall published its plan for civil service reform last summer as well, and Robert Doubleday, co-editor of the essay collection, says that it was a combination of a new chief science adviser and a renewed interest in government efficiency due to budget constraints that got the ball rolling. "We're looking ahead," Doubleday tells ScienceInsider. With "pressure on public budgets, coming together with new leadership at the top, we have a good opportunity to bring in some fresh thinking about how science advice works and how it should work."
Future Directions includes essays by former Chief Scientific Adviser John Beddington and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Robert Watson. Suggestions include making scientific advice available at shorter notice, the appointment of a chief social scientist, better integration of science staff members in policy teams, and for scientists to better understand the process of policymaking and politics.