Where next for the UK's environmental research centres?

17 January 2014

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee is to hold a one-off evidence session next week looking at proposals to change the ownership and governance of  research centres under the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The Chief Executive of NERC, Professor Duncan Wingham, will be quizzed by the Committee on the risks and benefits of making some of its research centres independent.

He will also be asked about the potential dangers of taking this route, such as the loss of access to vital and valuable data, and whether national levels of expertise and research capability might get compromised.

Questions he will face include:

  • Why did you embark on a review of the ownership and governance of NERC research centres in the first place?
  • What are the inadequacies of the current set-up?
  • How will any changes uphold the public good?
  • How can you plan against the risks involved?
  • Can you learn from similar steps taken by other comparable research centres?

The evidence session will be held on Tuesday 21 January at 10.40 am in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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