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National Academies tell Lords Committee their priorities for scientific research


Representatives from the National Academies, the Wellcome Trust and also a leading academic will all lay out before a Lords committee their wish list for scientific research and innovation strategy over the next ten years.

On Tuesday 8 July the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee continues its short inquiry into the national priorities for scientific research.

I
t will ask the expert witnesses what factors should determine research priorities, and how these priorities might be reflected in the Government's forthcoming Science and Innovation Strategy.

There will be two parts to the evidence session. In the first part, beginning at 10.40am, the Committee will hear from Sir John Skehel, Biological Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society; Professor Roger Kain, CBE, Fellow of the British Academy; and Professor Dame Ann Dowling FREng, FRS, Head of the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, and representing the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In the second part of the evidence session, beginning at approximately 11.40, the witnesses giving evidence will be Ms Nicola Perrin, Head of Policy, Strategic Planning and Policy Unit, Wellcome Trust; Professor Sir John Tooke PMedSci, President, Academy of Medical Sciences; and Professor Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation, Science and Technology Policy Research, School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex.

Questions they will be asked include:

  • What are the key challenges that the Government's Science and Innovation Strategy must tackle?
  • What are the UK's main priorities for scientific research?
  • Should we prioritise according to direct benefit to society?
  • Should we prioritise according to economic benefits to UK plc?
  • Should we aim for excellence in a few areas, rather than competence across them all?
  • Who should decide where we as a country should focus our research – the researchers or the funders?
  • Where does the research strategy leave the overall science budget?

The evidence session will be held on Tuesday 8 July, starting at 10.40 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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