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In March 2010 CST published A Vision for UK Research. CST looked at how to ensure the UK research base maintains its high level of performance and productivity and the outputs are maximised in terms of economic and social impacts, how we continue to maintain our global position, optimise business pull and research push and how to recruit, train, reward and retain the best talent. It made recommendations to Government that focus on the value of research to the UK, making people the focus and translating research into economic and social value.
A Vision for UK Research
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In June 2009 CST published A national infrastructure for the 21st century. CST examined the core sectors of national infrastructure, (energy, water, transport and communications) and made recommendations to Government on specific, high level interventions needed to ensure a modern, integrated and resilient national infrastructure.
A national infrastructure for the 21st century: report (June 2009)
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A national infrastructure for the 21st century: executive summary (June 2009)
In March 2009 CST published Improving innovation in the water industry: 21st century challenges and opportunities. CST investigated the need for the water industry to invest in new technologies and innovative solutions to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
Improving innovation in the water industry: 21st century challenges and opportunities: report (March 2009)
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In November 2008 CST published How academia and government can work together. CST found that there is a great deal of good will between academics and policy makers. It recognised that much had already been achieved through the Government investing in a world-class science base, appointing Chief Scientific Advisors in Government departments and clearly committing to evidence based policy.
However, the report identified four areas for improvement:
- The working relationships between academics and policy-makers need to be more professional.
- There is some ignorance on both sides of what good engagement can deliver, and both sides can fail to value the relationship.
- Both sides needing to better appreciate the constraints that each is operating under - and not just time pressures, though these can be important. They need to keep open dialogue going throughout and mutual trust is crucial.
- Both sides needing to recognise ways to value the relationship based on beneficial outcomes. Creative solutions are needed from both sides.
How academia and government can work together: report (November 2008)
In November 2007 CST published Strategic Decision Making for Technology Policy. Six new key technologies have been highlighted as central to the future
's prosperity. CST rigorously assessed over 100 technology areas in its search to find the most promising technologies for the UK to focus on over the next 5 years. UK
Strategic Decision Making for Technology Policy: report (November 2007)
In October 2007 CST published Pathways to the Future: the early careers of researchers in the
which made proposals on how to make research a more attractive career option. CST's report makes specific recommendations for reform including; UK
- funding of more research fellowships will give researchers greater independence at an earlier stage than at present, so they may take on greater responsibility for projects and staff.
- assessment by funders and universities of barriers to the exchange of researchers between academia, industry and the public sector.
- the establishment of a national framework for research careers which would show how a career can progress in academia, and how it also prepares people for transitions to jobs in other sectors
Pathways to the Future: the early careers of researchers in the
: report (October 2007) UK
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Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: A Review of Government's Progress on its Policy Commitments (2007)
In March 2007 CST published Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: A Review of Government's Progress on its Policy Commitments which reviews progress on actions set out in the Government's response (2005) to the Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering report "Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: Opportunities and Uncertainties" (2004).
The Review concluded that whilst the Government had made good progress in many areas - including standards and metrology, international engagement and minimising workplace and public exposure - it had not provided sufficient support for research into the toxicology and health and environmental effects of nanomaterials.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: A Review of Government's Progress on its Policy Commitments: report (March 2007)
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In December 2006 CST published a report that stated that improving the health of the whole population, whilst reducing health inequalities especially for those with the poorest health, should be an overall objective for the whole of Government. Acknowledging that the Government is already committed to health improvement as a key priority, the report sets out recommendations on how to ensure that all Government departments reflect health issues when developing and delivering their policies. Our main recommendations are:
- more resource should be devoted to ensuring that national data on the health of the population is more comprehensive and robust so that it provides the strong evidence base necessary for good policy-making across Government.
- delivering health improvements cannot be achieved if it is seen as the business of the Department of Health alone. A joint approach is needed between different Government departments is needed. The first step should be for priority Government departments to work with the Department of Health on the evidence base required to provide the best available evidence about health impacts, relevant to that Department's policy areas. Mechanisms for joining up databases across Government - set out in an earlier CST report on Personal Information - will be crucial
- Improved training is needed for Government policy-makers, across all departments, in the wider determinants of health and the use of evidence to assess them.
Health Impacts - A Strategy Across Government: report (December 2006)
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In September 2006 CST wrote to the then Chancellor making recommendations regarding the services sector and public procurement. The letter sets out the challenge for Government to understand service company needs, and to foster innovation by finding ways to connect them to the research base. The Council also described how Government can better meet its own objectives and stimulate innovation in business, particular smaller businesses, through better use of public procurement.
Innovation and Wealth Creation: letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (September 2006)
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During the latter half of 2004, Sir David King, the then Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, convened a small working group to help him consider the issues around developing a universal ethical code of conduct for scientists. Rigour, respect and responsibility: a universal ethical code for scientists was the product of the group's work. Sir David King asked the Council for Science and Technology (CST), to look at how the code could be disseminated more widely and how, in practice, it could have a useful role.
In May 2005, CST wrote out widely across universities, professional bodies, research funders, industry bodies, schools and colleges and trade unions seeking feedback on the proposed code. Responses were requested by the 1 November. A total of sixty-seven responses were received. Two main roles were identified:
- educating and training new scientists.
- informing and supporting the development of more specific codes.
Conclusions from the consultation.
Summary of the responses.
List of organisations that responded.
In November 2005, CST published a report that describes how the use of personal data by government offers enormous benefits, with the potential to create more efficient and accessible public services, but that risks must be addressed in order to secure these benefits. Key recommendations included:
- extensive public engagement with the public and civil society groups
- regulatory and governance frameworks to minimise the risks
- research into privacy enhancing technologies
- the creation of federated databases rather than a single database.
Research into the use of personal datasets held by public sector bodies. October 2005. Report produced by OPM for CST.
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In May 2005, CST published a report that recommends:
- immediate investment in large scale, low-carbon, energy generation facilities to meet the Government’s carbon dioxide reduction targets
- keeping the nuclear option open and placing more emphasis on carbon sequestration and tidal power
- government investment in R&D should be aimed at new and renewable fuel sources, energy management, storage and improving the supply and training of skilled workers in the
- development of the transmission network, its protection mechanisms and metering systems to facilitate distributed and diverse generators, ranging from commercial to domestic units;and to address the regulatory issues arising from this form of generation.
In March 2005, CST published a report that encouraged government to do more to engage the public in the development of science and technology based policies, or risk jeopardising the economic and social gains expected from the ten year investment framework for science and innovation. The government responded to CST's recommendations in September 2005.
The subgroup commissioned two reports to support their work:
- Talking policy: four case studies examining public dialogue in science and technology policy. 2005. RAND Europe. Available from the RAND Europe website.
- Public dialogue and policy development: case studies. 2004. Momenta. Download .doc (215KB)
Government response (September 2005)
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In March 2004, the government published a consultation: science and innovation: working towards a ten-year investment framework. The CST wrote to the then Chancellor setting out some broad comments on the emerging framework and asking how CST could assist Government with reviewing progress on implementing the framework. The Government published its science and innovation investment framework 2004-2014 in July 2004 and, in November, the CST wrote to the three lead departments (DTI, DfES and the Treasury) welcoming the government’s clear recognition of the strategic importance of science and technology to our society, and flagging up a number of areas that the CST sees as key issues for government and for the science base.
In October 2003, CST published a report that explored the links between the knowledge-intensive service industries and the science base. To inform their report, CST members considered a background paper prepared by the secretariat, and commissioned a study from the
, University of Manchester/UMIST. Instituteof Innovation Research
In July 2001, CST published a report that questioned the divisions between the arts and the sciences, and considered how they could be reduced. The government responded in November 2001.
Government response (November 2001)
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The government conducted a quinquennial review of the grant awarding research councils during 2001. The CST responded to both the first stage and the second stage of the review. Council members also undertook a study visit to
and submitted a report of their findings to the review. Sweden
Science teachers: supporting and developing the profession of science teaching in primary and secondary schools
In February 2000, CST published a report that considered what policy developments could help science teachers in primary and secondary schools develop and improve their professional practice.
To inform their report, CST commissioned a study from Kings College London into the views and needs of science teachers in primary and secondary schools, which was undertaken in June/July 1999.
The government provided an initial response to the report in November 2000.
In February 2000, the CST published a report that considered what the government should do to increase the capacity of
businesses to exploit science and technology. UK
The government responded to the Council's report in March 2001.
In September 1998, the government invited CST to undertake a review of departments' use of science and technology, and to consider what lessons may be drawn for government science and technology policy as a whole.
The Council's report was published in July 1999. The government made an initial response to the report in September 1999. This was followed by an implementation plan in July 2000 that set out how CST's recommendations were to be taken forward.
Following the 2000 spending review, CST was asked to review emerging departmental strategies on science and innovation. Their report was published in March 2001.