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The Government is committed to creating a society that is both enthused and excited by science, one where the public understands the value of science and its applications in today’s society and can feel confident about how scientists are operating.
We have an existing programme of work to achieve this as set out in this web site. With a new Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, we have an opportunity to develop a refreshed approach in this area. Now is the right time to review this and decide how to go about refreshing the Government’s science and society vision. We want to:
We also want to establish the Government’s role and the focus of our activities with a view to developing a proper strategy for this work that combines the efforts of all in the community. Our focus for science and society includes education, public engagement, public confidence, the science workforce and increasing diversity. We have already done some preliminary mapping of the UK’s activity in these areas.
We want this to be an inclusive process if we are to get a true sense of cohesion around this subject for the UK. First of all, we need a refreshed vision. Delivering the inaugural Sir Gareth Roberts Science Lecture at the Science Council on 6 November 2007, Ian Pearson, Science and Innovation Minister launched a debate (see Press Release ) on a new vision for science and society in the UK, stressing his desire that the debate will lead to greater co-ordination in this area. We welcome comments to the Science and Society team on this proposed vision:
A Society that is excited about science, values its importance to our economic and social well-being, feels confident in its use, and supports a representative, well-qualified scientific workforce.
In opening up the process of developing our policy and to help our thinking, a month or so ago we hosted a science and society workshop with a small group of people from the science community to kickstart work to look at how to go about refreshing the vision. We will now be organising meetings in the coming months to bring together our partners from inside and outside Government. We have been set an ambitious target of developing a refreshed vision and strategy for action, which can be published [for consultation] during National Science & Engineering Week in March 2008. To help us achieve this, we would like to understand fully what others are doing in Science and Society and invite you to share with us your thoughts on how we can achieve our collective vision. We will be taking comments on this until 24 December 2007.
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