CaSE Chief Scientific Advisor Scorecard

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.

The scorecard is based on the responses to a series of parliamentary questions asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough in June 2011, supplemented by CaSE’s own research and data provided by the Government Office for Science (GO Science). The scorecard rates the department across six categories:

  • Was the departmental CSA appointed externally from the civil service?
  • Does the departmental CSA have academic or other expertise relevant to the department’s mission?
  • How many times has the departmental CSA met the Secretary of State or relevant ministers between June 2010 and June 2011?
  • Has the department appointed a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) to support the work of the departmental CSA?
  • Is there a seat on the department’s management board for the departmental CSA?
  • Does the departmental CSA have full control over the department’s science, research, or evidence budget?

Note that these details were correct at the time of publication (October 2011)

Government Department Departmental Chief Scientific Advisor Scorecard 

(Max 6)

Summary
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Professor Robert Watson is Chair of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia and Director for Strategic Direction at the Tyndall Centre. * * * * * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
✓ Scientific Advisory Committee
✓ Seat on the management board
✓ Control over the R&D budget
Departmental of Health (DoH) Professor Dame Sally Davies is employed by the civil service full-time and is also Director General for Research and Development in the department. * * * * * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
✓ Scientific Advisory Committee
✓ Seat on the management board
✓ Control over the R&D budget 

 

 

Departmental for International Development (DfID) Professor Chris Whitty is Professor of International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  Between June 2010-11 has held 7 meetings with the Secretary of State, 1 with the Minister of State, and 11 with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. 

His deputy is Tim Wheeler, a Professor of Crop Science at the University of Reading.

* * * * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
✓ Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
✓ Control over the R&D budget
Departmental for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Professor David MacKay is Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Department of Physics, Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Society. 

 

 

* * * * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
✓ Scientific Advisory Committee
✓ Seat on the management board
x Control over the R&D budget
Home Office Professor Bernard Silverman is employed by the Civil Service full-time. He has held senior academic appointments in statistics at the Universities of Bath, Bristol, and Oxford, and is a past president of the Royal Statistical Society. 

 

Between June 2010-11 he held 2 meeting with the Home Secretary, 7 meetings with the Minister for Crime & Security, 7 meetings with the-then Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism and one meeting with the Immigration Minister and Minister for Equalities.

 

* * * * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
✓ Published record of meetings
✓ Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
x Control over the R&D budget
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Dr Bill Gunnyeon is employed by the civil service full-time and is also Director for Health, Work and Wellbeing. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and holds Fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of General Practitioners. 

 

Between June 2010-11 he held 68 meetings with the Department’s Ministers. He has also provided support to Ministers on a further 19 occasions.

 

* * * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
✓ Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
x Control over the R&D budget
Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Professor Jeremy Watson is a chartered electrical engineer with visiting professorships at the Universities of Southampton and Sussex in schools of Civil and Environmental and Engineering and Design. 

 

* * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
x Control over the R&D budget
Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Professor David Clary is President of Magdalen College Oxford and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. * * ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
x Control over the R&D budget 

(Note: FCO does not have a dedicated R&D budget)

Department for Education (DfE) Carole Willis is employed by the civil service full-time and is also Director of Research and Analysis, which includes the role of Chief Scientific Adviser. Her background is in economics. 

 

Between June 2010-11 she held 16 meetings with the Secretary of State and other Ministers.

* * x External appointment
x Relevant expertise
✓ Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
✓ Control over the R&D budget
HM Treasury (HMT) Dr James Richardson is employed by the civil service full-time. He has a PhD in labour economics from the London School of Economics and fulfils the post part-time alongside being Chief Microeconomist and Director of Public Spending. 

Note: Dr Richardson was appointed in June 2010. HMT is “currently looking at how the CSA function will be best delivered”

 

 

 

* x External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
? Scientific Advisory Committee
? Seat on the management board
? Control over the R&D budget
Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Rebecca Endean is employed by the civil service full-time and is also Director of Analytical Services. She has a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Economic History from London School of Economics, and a MA in Economics from Warwick University. * x External appointment
x Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
✓ Control over the R&D budget
Ministry of Defence (MOD) x Position vacant. Professor Sir Mark Welland was the previous CSA and also served as Head of the Cambridge University Nanoscience Centre. His tenure expired in Aug 2011 and the Ministry of Defence now plans to “reduce the grading of its CSA”. Not rated, due to vacancy. ? External appointment
? Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
✓ Scientific Advisory Committee
? Seat on the management board
? Control over the R&D budget 

 

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) x Position vacant. Previous departmental CSA, Brian Collins, was Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield University and shared the position with the Department for Transport. Not rated, due to vacancy. ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
x Control over the R&D budget
Department for Transport (DfT) x Position vacant. Previous departmental CSA, Brian Collins, was Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield University and shared the position with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Not rated, due to vacancy. ✓ External appointment
✓ Relevant expertise
✓ Published record of meetings
x Scientific Advisory Committee
x Seat on the management board
x Control over the R&D budget
Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) 

 

x Position vacant. The department is “considering options to fill this role”. Not rated, due to vacancy. ? External appointment
? Relevant expertise
x Published record of meetings
? Scientific Advisory Committee
? Seat on the management board
? Control over the R&D budget
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