Evidence session with Sir Patrick Vallance and George Freeman MP
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will hear from two Government witnesses in its fifth evidence session in the inquiry: Delivering a UK science and technology strategy.
In the first session, the Committee will take evidence from Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser.
In the second session, the Committee will hear from George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation.
At its previous meeting, the Committee heard from civil servants from across the Government’s scientific organisations. At this meeting, the Committee will follow up many of the issues that came out of that session with the UK’s most senior scientific civil servant, and the Minister.
The Committee will seek to understand the roles of the new Government bodies, the National Science and Technology Council, and the Office for Science and Technology Strategy, in developing and delivering a UK science strategy. As part of this, the Committee will explore how these bodies fit into existing Government structures, and how they will interact with the Chief Scientific Adviser and the Minister. The Committee will explore the concerns of previous witnesses that the new bodies will add a layer of bureaucracy to an already complex process. The Committee will try to clarify what a UK science and technology strategy will look like, and how success will be measured.
The Committee will also explore the international dimension to becoming a “science and technology superpower”, what the balance should be between competition and collaboration, and how the UK is perceived as an international science partner. The Committee will also ask what can be learned from international comparisons.
Possible question areas
- The role different bodies and individuals in government will, and should, play in delivering a science and technology strategy
- How departments can best use the additional funding they’ve been allocated to support a science and technology strategy
- How the government can encourage private sector investment in research and development towards the 2.4% target
- The scientific expertise and knowledge in the civil service
- The international dimension to a UK science and technology strategy, including when to collaborate and when to compete
- What the UK can learn from international models of science policy and governance