Select Committee on Science and Technology

No.22 of Session 2005-06 16 February 2006

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE, RISK AND EVIDENCE: HOW GOVERNMENT HANDLES THEM

EVIDENCE SESSION & DRUG REPORT PUBLICATION

The Science and Technology Committee will hold its second evidence session of this inquiry on Wednesday 1 March 2006.

It will also publish a Report, The evidence base for the classification of drugs, specially commissioned by the Committee from RAND Europe into the scientific evidence on the classification of illegal drugs.

The research looked at drugs in all three classifications. For Class A it investigated cocaine, magic mushrooms and ecstasy, in Class B it investigated amphetamines and in Class C it investigated cannabis.  The Committee will make use of the Report in its evidence sessions.

The Report will be published at 9.30 am on 1 March  to coincide with the evidence session which will take place in Committee Room 8 when evidence will be heard from:

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs:

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Chairman; and

Professor David Nutt, Member and Chairman of the Technical Committee

Embargoed paper copies of the Report will be available to members of the press at the press gallery in the House of Commons, from 10.30am on Tuesday 28 February, embargoed electronic copies will also will be made available to the above and to those who submitted evidence upon request. Requests should be emailed to [email protected] by 12.00 noon on Monday 27 February. Paper copies of the Report will also be available at the session and electronically  via a link on the Committee’s website from the time of publication.

For media inquiries please call Laura Kibby on 020 7219 0718, and for any other information please call Ana Ferreira, on 020 7219 2793. Previous press notices and publications are available on our website: www.parliament.uk/s&tcom      

Notes for those wishing to attend a public meeting of the Committee

Members of the public wishing to attend should present themselves at St Stephen’s Entrance, where they will be directed through security and to the appropriate Committee Room.  It is advisable to allow about 20 minutes for this. It is possible for the Committee Room designated for the hearing to change at short notice, but such room changes will be clearly  indicated.  Please ensure that mobile phones and pagers are turned off before entering the Committee Room.  Under no circumstances should members of the public address the Committee while in session.  It is not possible for seats to be reserved in the Committee Room but every effort is made to ensure sufficient seating.  Standing in Committee Rooms is permitted at the discretion of the Chairman.  Those attending meetings are asked to remain silent throughout.

Notes to editors:

• Under the terms of Standing Order No. 152 the Science and Technology Committee is empowered to examine the “expenditure, policy and administration of the Office of Science and Technology and its associated public bodies”. The Committee was appointed on 19 July 2005.

• This inquiry was announced on 9 November 2005 in Press Notice No 9 of session 2005-06. http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_and_technology_committee/scitech091105.cfm

• The Committee announced the commission of the report in Press Notice No 18 of session 2005-06.  http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_and_technology_committee/scitech190106a.cfm

Membership of the Committee

Mr Phil Willis (Lib Dem, Harrogate and Knaresborough)(Chairman)
Adam Afriyie (Con, Windsor)
Mr Robert Flello (Lab, Stoke-on-Trent South)
Mr Jim Devine (Lab, Livingston)
Dr Evan Harris (Lib Dem, Oxford West & Abingdon)
Dr Brian Iddon (Lab, Bolton South East)
Margaret Moran (Lab, Luton South)
Mr Brooks Newmark (Con, Braintree)
Anne Snelgrove (Lab/Co-op, South Swindon)
Bob Spink (Con, Castle Point)
Dr Desmond Turner (Lab, Brighton Kemptown)