No. 15 of Session 2003-04, dated 29 January 2004


Monday 9 February, 3.45 - 4.15 pm

Committee Room 6

The Science and Technology Committee is holding its first “Question  Time” with the Minister for Science and Innovation, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, on Monday 9 February.

At his appearance before the Committee in November 2003, Lord Sainsbury agreed to the Committee’s suggestion of more regular short sessions to discuss recent developments relating to science and innovation policy. The Science and Technology Committee is the first departmental select committee to hold such sessions. 

Lord Sainsbury will answer the questions listed below. There will be supplementary questions from Committee Members on each subject.

Innovation Report

How much money will be realized from the rationalization of business support schemes over the next 3 years; how will this money be re-allocated; and how much new money will be made available to implement the Innovation Report?

Primate Research Centre

What was the role of OST and MRC in the events surrounding the decision by Cambridge University to cancel plans to build a primate research laboratory; and what are the implications for biomedical research in the UK?

Beagle 2

What wider scientific benefits from the Beagle 2 project were anticipated when the decision to provide financial support to the project was made; have these benefits been realized; and at what cost to public funds?

Chemicals policy

What is the expected impact of the proposed EU Chemicals Legislation on innovation in the sector; and what opportunities are there for the UK?

Science education

What role will the OST’s Science and Society Directorate play in shaping new school science curricula?

Medical Research

What plans have you got to encourage the MRC, the NHS and other research funders to co-ordinate their activities in order to focus research on areas which will have the most benefits for patients?



The website address for the Committee’s online consultation on its inquiry into Human Reproductive Technologies and the law is

For further information, please ring the Committee staff on 020 7219 2793/4, or refer to the Committee Office Information Line on 020 7219 2033.  Previous press notices and publications are available on our website

Notes for Editors

  • Under the terms of Standing Order No. 152 the Committee is empowered to examine the Aexpenditure, policy and administration of the Office of Science and Technology and its associated public bodies@. The Committee was appointed on 12 November 2001.

  • The Committee plans to hold Science Question Time every three months. It is designed to enable the Committee to raise topical issues with the Minister and to discuss recent developments in science and innovation.