Lords write to PM about merger of BIS Director General of Science and Research role

18 November 2010

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee have written to Prime Minister David Cameron setting out their concerns about proposals from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to merge the position of Director General of Science and Research (DGSR) with two other civil service positions at the Director General level in a new role of Director General of Knowledge and Innovation.

The Committee argue that it is of ‘key importance’ that the  new Director General is a senior scientist able to maintain the trust and confidence of the scientific community, especially as the post will be responsible for allocating the £4.6bn resource spending provided for in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review. The Committee’s concern about the merging of the roles was heightened following an evidence session this week with Professor Sir John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser.

The Committee conclude their letter by expressing the view that appointing anyone other than a senior scientist to the role of Director General of Knowledge and Innovation would significantly risk damaging the relationship between government and the scientific community and undoing the good work for science in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

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