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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Delivering a UK science and technology strategy

Science and Technology Committee (Lords)
Delivering a UK science and technology strategy

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Start times: 10.00am (private) 10.15am (public)


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UK Research and Innovation and academic perspective on a UK science and technology strategy

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will hear from two panels in its eighth evidence session in the inquiry: Delivering a UK science and technology strategy.

On the first panel, the Committee will hear from the head of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser. UKRI oversees an annual research and development budget of around £8 billion and is the main mechanism for Government to fund research in the UK. Lord Browne of Madingley will also be giving evidence. He is co-chair of the Council for Science and Technology, which advises the Prime Minister on science and technology and made a number of recommendations around the concept of “the UK as a science superpower”. Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser also sits on this council.

On the second panel, the Committee will take evidence from two academics. Dr Beth Mortimer will provide the perspective of an early career academic, while Professor Sir Richard Friend can reflect on how the academic landscape has changed over his career.

The Council for Science and Technology makes recommendations to the Prime Minister on how the UK can meet its science and technology targets. The Committee will ask the first panel how the Government is doing at fulfilling its recommendations, where it needs to improve, and what policies it should introduce to do so. The Committee seeks to understand recent machinery of Government changes, and how new bodies like the National Science and Technology Council will interact with UKRI. It will also ask how UKRI is performing, particularly whether it has increased inter-disciplinary research.

The Committee will ask its academic witnesses about the part universities and academics should play in the UK’s science and technology policy. The Committee will ask about morale among academics and whether academic careers remain attractive. The Committee seeks to understand the incentives and funding model in academia and will ask whether they encourage the collaborations and widely applicable work that most benefit society.

Meeting details

At 10.00am: Private discussion
Inquiry Delivering a UK science and technology strategy
At 10.15am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Delivering a UK science and technology strategy
Chief Executive Officer at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Co-Chair at Council for Science and Technology
At 11.15am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Delivering a UK science and technology strategy
Royal Society University Research Fellow at University of Oxford
Former Cavendish Professor of Physics at University of Cambridge

Possible question areas

  • Whether the UK has a coherent and defined science and technology policy
  • What the establishment of the National Science and Technology Council and the Office for Science and Technology means for UK science and technology
  • How to increase private sector investment in research and development
  • What morale is like among academics
  • How to ensure the incentives in academia encourage research with wide benefits

Further information

Location

Room 3, Palace of Westminster

How to attend