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LGC advises Lords Select Committee

02 Dec 2011

LGC's Julian Braybrook gives evidence on roles of CSAs to House of Lords Science & Technology Committee

Julian Braybrook, LGC’s Director of Strategy, Measurement Research, gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology inquiry into the roles of Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs) on Tuesday, 29 November.

Presenting LGC’s views on the role of CSAs to the committee, which was led by the Chairman Lord Krebs, Julian highlighted the importance of LGC’s relationship with CSAs, and said that the purpose of the relationship was three-fold:

  • To make sure that the CSAs are aware of the advisory role available through the Government Chemist on the measurement science implications of policy and regulation.

  • The Government Chemist’s relationship with CSAs is also a useful mechanism for ensuring our national roles (NMI, GC and NRL) are aligned with the current political agenda.

  • LGC also provides a successful model of privatisation of a civil service laboratory – this is of particular interest to government departments at this time.

The Lords were taking evidence from a range of industrial representatives including Sir Kevin Tebbit, Chairman, Finmeccanica UK (and ex. Permanent secretary for the MoD); Jeremy Evans, Chairman, Intelligent Transport Systems UK; and Ian Downie, Managing Director, Serco Science.  They were particularly interested in the panellists’ views on the reputation of the current existing CSAs, as well as discussing the skills, resources and political powers required by CSAs to perform their duties better.

Julian suggested that it could be useful to establish some relevant measures to assess the performance of CSAs, while a key message from all four panellists was that there is value in enhancing CSA networks with industry to inform policy.

The full recorded session can be viewed on www.parliamentlive.tv.