In response to a recommendation in the Government's publication Investing in Innovation: A Strategy for Science, Engineering and Technology (July 2002), the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA), Sir David King, set up the Science Review Team within the Office of Science and Innovation (now the Government Office for Science) to take forward a new programme of reviews to independently scrutinise and benchmark the quality and use of science in government departments. The programme of reviews is overseen by the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor and informs and supports his role of advising the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on the overall health of science in Government departments. One of his key roles is coordinating the use of science across Government, particularly in maintaining the quality of science in all Government Departments. The science reviews of government departments help the GCSA carry out this function.
For the purpose of the Science Review the term 'science' includes physical, natural and social sciences research and data collection (monitoring and surveillance) activities. The use of statistics and economics is covered in the context of overall decision making but other Government initiatives assure the quality of work in these areas.