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Role of Chief Scientific Advisers

Posted 29/09/2011

Role of Chief Scientific Advisers

The RSE has responded to the House of Lords Select Committee’s call for evidence on the role of Chief Scientific Advisers in government department, emphasising the need for independence.

Modern governments require scientific advice in order to be able to respond to the fast moving pace of scientific knowledge – knowledge that cannot routinely be found within traditional governmental structures.

For this reason it is imperative that a network of Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs) is in place. These advisers must be able to be fully independent in order to maintain their credibility, with all significant advice made public, along with the government’s response, whether accepting the advice or not.

The RSE, in its response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, calls for a spread of advisers that reflects the disciplinary knowledge base that government requires to make informed decisions. It also suggests that CSAs be able to demonstrate that they have access to a network of peers in the scientific and engineering community upon whose expertise they can draw.

The full response can be found here.

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