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Committee urges Prime Minister to appoint a science minister to Cabinet

27 September 2022

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has written to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP. The Committee urge the new Prime Minister to acknowledge the central importance of science and technology in delivering economic growth and more efficient public services, and to redouble efforts to embed science and technology at the heart of Government

The letter draws on the Committee’s recent inquiry into “delivering a science and technology strategy”, and makes several specific recommendations to the new administration:

  • A science minister should be appointed at the earliest opportunity, and this should be a Cabinet-level position
  • The UK should maintain and redouble efforts towards reaching 2.4% of its GDP spent on research and development by 2027, in line with other OECD countries. It should not row back on laudable commitments to funding increases which have already been eroded by inflation.
  • The Government should reconsider its decision to disband the National Science and Technology Council. A dedicated subcommittee of Cabinet that provides a forum within which issues of science and technology that cut across Government departments can be discussed and actioned is of substantial value.

The Committee wishes to emphasise its broad conclusions from the recent inquiry – that the previous administration’s ambitions regarding science and technology, as well as the commitment to increase funding, were laudable, but that it is now time to move from ambition to a detailed implementation plan.

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