Lord to quiz Ministers David Willets and John Penrose

09 March 2012

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will, next Tuesday (13 March 2012), take evidence from David Willets MP, Minister for Universities and Science at BIS, and John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage at DCMS, as part of their follow-up inquiry into Science and Heritage in the UK. Also giving evidence to the Committee on this day will be Professor Heather Viles of Oxford University.

The Ministers will be asked what steps their departments have taken to promote the UK’s cultural heritage through support of the heritage science sector. It is estimated that heritage contributes £12.4 billion a year to the UK economy but no actions are proposed in the DCMS 2011-15 business plan, despite identifying the need to “protect our nation’s cultural heritage” as a key departmental responsibility.

The Committee will also ask why DCMS has not re-appointed a Chief Scientific Adviser and what responsibility the Government has to monitor and address present and anticipated future skills shortages in the heritage science sector.

Professor Viles will be asked what impact the National Heritage Science Strategy, launched in March 2009, has had and whether the Government is doing enough to support the discipline.

The evidence session will start at 10.35am on Tuesday 13 March in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords. The full details are:

10:35am – David Willets MP, Minister for Universities and Science, BIS and John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage, DCMS.

11:35am – Professor Heather Viles, Professor of Biogeomorphology and Heritage, University of Oxford.

The evidence session is open to media and the public. Please allow time for security screening.

The evidence session will also be broadcast live on Parliament TV