Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee

24 January 2008

No. 21 (07-08)


The Government has recognised the importance of cross-departmental scrutiny of science by the House of Commons by agreeing to change the name of the select committee responsible.

The decision comes in response to the Science and Technology's Last Report, which recommended the word science be retained in the title of any subsequent select committee. The Committee was dissolved as a result of machinery of Government changes and replaced by a new Innovation, Universities and Skills Select Committee.

The Government has now undertaken to table a motion in the Commons, allowing MPs to make the necessary procedural changes.

Commenting on the Government's decision, Chairman of the former Science and Technology Committee and Chairman of the IUS Committee, Phil Willis said: "Given the importance of science across Government, it is essential that the select committee system makes provision for the cross-departmental scrutiny of science.

"The new Committee welcomes the opportunity to change its name to reflect the place of science within its work. It is an important signal to the science community that science will remain a high priority in terms of parliamentary scrutiny. We look forward to becoming the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee as soon as possible."

The Government rejected the inclusion of the term "science" in the name of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills on the grounds that it would not be a good use of public money.


The Science and Technology Committee's The Last Report can be found at:

The Government Response to the Science and Technology Committee's The Last Report can be found at:

Committee Membership is as follows:

Mr Phil Willis (Liberal Democrat, Harrogate and Knaresborough)(Chairman)
Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Labour, City of Durham)
Mr Tim Boswell (Conservative, Daventry)
Mr Ian Cawsey (Labour, Brigg & Goole)
Mrs Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire)
Dr Ian Gibson (Labour, Norwich North)
Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)
Dr Brian Iddon (Labour, Bolton South East)
Mr Gordon Marsden (Labour, Blackpool South)
Dr Bob Spink (Conservative, Castle Point)
Ian Stewart (Labour, Eccles)
Mr Graham Stringer (Labour, Manchester, Blackley)
Dr Desmond Turner (Labour, Brighton Kemptown)
Mr Rob Wilson (Conservative, Reading East)

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