Today the House of Lords is debating the role of departmental Chief Scientific Advisors (DCSAs). The debate has been called by the Chair of the Lords Science and Technology Committee, Lord Krebs, following the Committee’s report into the role and function of DCSAs, earlier this year.
Science and engineering impacts on the work of every government department, from climate change to transport infrastructure and military defence to school-age education. It is therefore crucial that independent scientific advice should be at the heart of government and that each department should have a CSA to deliver expert advice and oversee science policymaking.
Ahead of today’s debate, CaSE has produced the following briefing – giving an up-to-date review of the DCSA network across government.
Sufficient Oversight Powers
Ministry of Defence
Department for Culture Media and Sport
Departmental Research & Development Budgets Read More
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has launched a new consultation on the Shortage Occupations List, which closes on 30th November 2012.
The MAC is the Government’s main independent advisory body on immigration policy. Part of their role is keeping the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) up to date. If your job appears on the SOL, then you’ll have an easier time getting into the country.
The Government have recently asked the MAC, amongst other things, whether jobs on the SOL should be removed from the list automatically after two years – the rationale being that the SOL is intended to be a short-term measure, not a way of addressing long-term skills shortages. Read More
Also posted in CaSE, Highlights
New Immigration Rules took effect on 6 April that will change the way that research centres, universities and other employers recruit workers from outside of Europe. More changes are due on 14 June 2012.
The extensive set of changes touched on every area of policy for Tier 2 migrants, the ‘skilled worker’ category. There has been a lot of change, and staff in HR, the individual employees and their recruiting managers could be forgiven for losing track. Read More
This following evidence was submitted by CaSE to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into the Role and Function of Departmental Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs), on 11th October 2011. We’ve also compiled a Scorecard to rate the suitability of each departmental CSA, which you can view here.
The Commitee’s report was published in February 2012 and you can read it here.
- 1. The Campaign for Science and Engineering is a non-profit organisation which advocates for the UK to become a better place in which to conduct science and engineering. We are supported by a hundred different organisational members in the science and engineering sector, ranging from universities and companies to learned societies and research charities. Read More
1. The Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) is a membership organisation aiming to improve the scientific and engineering health of the UK. CaSE works to ensure that science and engineering are high on the political and media agenda, and that the UK has world-leading research and education, skilled and responsible scientists and engineers, and successful innovative business. It is funded by around 750 individual members and 100 organisations including industries, universities, learned and professional organisations, and research charities. Read More
Science funding was today raised in the House of Commons, during oral questions to the Secretary of Sate for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and CaSE was mentioned in the exchange.
Labour Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Chi Onwurah stated that the independent Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) showed that science funding had been cut by 12 per cent. Innovation support was being denied to businesses, she added.
Also posted in Blog, Highlights
The scientific advice network across Whitehall suffers from wildly inconsistent support mechanisms, according to new research conducted by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE). While some departmental Chief Scientific Advisors (CSAs) have excellent links with their host department, many post-holders may not have sufficient independence, oversight, or access to ministers to properly fulfil their brief, according to the independent advocacy group.
Responding to a House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the work of departmental Chief Scientific Advisors (CSA), CaSE has compiled a scorecard to rate the suitability of each current departmental CSA up to September 2011. The scorecard has found “huge inconsistencies in science advice in government”.
Note that the scores relate to the departmental CSA structure, rather than the competency of the individuals themselves. You can view a PDF copy of the scorecard here.
This is CaSE’s consultation response to the House of Common Science and Technology Committee inquiry into practical experiments in school science lessons and science field trips, which can be found here.
Science and engineering are critical to the UK’s social and economic future. Demographic trends in Europe and further afield mean that this country must strengthen its medium- and high-skills sectors in order to be competitive. Read More
Also posted in Blog
Tagged Consultation, Education
In this paper we analyse recent changes in the amount and organisation of public spending on science and engineering and test whether actual spending plans live up to Government rhetoric. CaSE believes that a higher priority needs to be given to science & engineering spending. The Government must develop a long-term investment plan to genuinely secure the future of UK research, and the innovation that such research drives.
A PDF version is available here.
The Science Budget (£4.6bn..?)
“Britain is a world leader in scientific research. And that is vital to our future economic success. That is why I am proposing that we do not cut the cash going to the science budget. It will be protected at £4.6 billion a year.”
George Osborne, Chancellor, 20th October, 2010 Read More
This is CaSE’s response to the HM Treasury consultation on R&D Tax Credits. We believe that the UK must become a knowledge-intensive economy if it is to be internationally competitive in the years to come, and it is therefore crucial that the tax system incentivises research and development activity in the private sector.
Government SET Statistics show that in 2008, 1.8% of UK GDP was spent on R&D. This compares to 3.4% in Japan, 2.8% in the USA, and 2.6% in Germany. Looking at R&D performed by business alone, the figures are 1.1% for the UK, 2.7% for Japan, 2% for the USA, and 1.3% for France. These figures underline the importance of incentivising R&D in the UK.
This is CaSE’s consultation response to the Department of Education’s report Training our next generation of outstanding teachers which can be found here. The report discussed the quality of teacher trainees, the effects of better investment and the reform of teacher training.
Answering the questions set out by the Department of Education, CaSE aimed to give its view of the report and make suggestions. Read More
The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the UK’s leading independent scientific advocacy group, welcomed the Government’s announcement of an extra 1000 places for exceptionally talented immigrants, including scientists and engineers. However, CaSE cautioned that capping immigration is still inherently flawed.
CaSE campaigned vigorously against the immigration controls when they were first announced, sounding the alarm over the potential damage to UK science and engineering. Data shows that in some STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects, over a quarter of the UK’s academic workforce originates from outside the EU, while employers consistently cite access to a global talent pool as one of the reasons investing in the UK is attractive. Read More
CaSE response to House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry into Scientific Advice and Evidence in Emergencies
1. The Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) is a member organisation aiming to improve the scientific and engineering health of the UK. CaSE works to ensure that science and engineering are high on the political agenda and that the UK has world-leading research and education, skilled and responsible scientists and engineers, and successful innovative business. It is funded by around 750 individual members and 80 organisations including industries, universities, learned and professional organisations, and research charities.
The House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the Spending Review 2010, and its impact upon the science and engineering base. This is the evidence submitted by CaSE, which was originally published here.
1. The Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) is a membership organisation aiming to improve the scientific and engineering health of the UK. CaSE works to ensure that science and engineering are high on the political and media agenda, and that the UK has world-leading research and education, skilled and responsible scientists and engineers, and successful innovative business. It is funded by around 750 individual members and 100 organisations including industries, universities, learned and professional organisations, and research charities.
This report was produced in the run-up to the devolved elections of May2011. It makes a series of recommendations for political parties campaigningfor office and for the incoming assemblies and governments. CaSE has alsoproduced recommendations targeted for each of the nations.
Science, Engineering & the Devolved Nations 2011
These details have been provided by the Department for Business. For CaSE’s response, click here.
Science capital investment
In the Budget today the Chancellor announced £100 million of capital investment in science.
This science investment consists of:
- £80 million to develop the national research campuses at Daresbury, Norwich and Cambridge
- £10 million for three further testing facilities at the ISIS neutron source in Harwell
- £10 million to start a National Space Technology Programme to be match-funded by industry
CaSE has sent a letter and analysis regarding the Government’s Education proposals to Michael Gove.
The letter is supported by eminent figures in science and engineering, including Lord May and Lord Rees (former Presidents of the Royal Society), Ian Taylor (former Conservative Science Minister), Sir Harry Kroto (Nobel prize-winner), and Dame Bridget Ogilvie (former Director of the Wellcome Trust).
An article by Times science editor Mark Henderson focused on our argument that funding for teacher training should not be restricted to graduates with a 2:2 or above, but you can read the full details, below.