Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
MPs 'impressed’ by high quality of submissions from science and technology community
The Science and Technology Committee yesterday announced the ideas from the ‘My Science’ Inquiry that will form the basis of new inquiries.
In November 2018 the Committee launched the ‘My Science Inquiry’ initiative, which invited the public to suggest potential inquiries for the Committee’s future work programme.
The aim of the initiative was to provide an opportunity for the science and technology community and the general public to alert the Committee to topics deserving greater parliamentary scrutiny.
Ten of these submissions were shortlisted to deliver a five-minute public ‘pitch’ to the Committee earlier this year.
The Committee yesterday announced the four submissions that have been selected to form the basis of upcoming inquiries:
- An inquiry into commercial genomics will be launched later this week.
- The Committee then hopes to launch an inquiry into the impact of science funding policy on equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility within the next twelve months; and two further proposals have been combined—food security, the environment and crop protection, and organisms obtained by gene editing techniques—into an inquiry into the role of science and technology in addressing challenges to food security and biodiversity. The aim is to also launch this inquiry within the next 12 months.
The Committee intends to pursue all of the other ideas pitched in a range of ways, including highlighting concerns and suggestions to Ministers. A summary of these plans can be found in the Report.
Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, yesterday said:
“We were really impressed by the high quality of all submissions received during this inquiry and the broad range of subjects covered. The Committee is very grateful to all members of the science and technology community, as well as the general public, who contributed ideas.
“It is vital that Parliament does not lose sight of the issues that matter most to the public. It is the role of Committees to ensure these areas are given the parliamentary scrutiny they deserve, and it was a real joy to listen to and read the various submissions we received.
“Shortlisting the submissions was no easy task, but the Committee looks forward to exploring the four we eventually selected in further detail. I’m delighted to announce that we’ll be starting with commercial genomics. We also hope to pursue all shortlisted submissions.”
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