Comment on use of evidence by the UK Cabinet Office
Responding to the announcement today that the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology will be writing to the Cabinet Office about its use of evidence, Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:
“I am very glad that the Committee is acting on my call for an investigation into the use of evidence by the Cabinet Office. Earlier this month, I presented the Committee with evidence of two recent examples when the Cabinet Office has failed to take into account properly evidence from the research community on important issues. In February 2016, it announced draconian changes to the rules governing Government grants which would have prevented researchers from engaging with policy-makers. These changes were badly conceived and based on a campaign pamphlet by the Institute for Economic Affairs, a free market lobby group, rather than on robust evidence from universities. As a result, the Government had to withdraw the new rules. And in August 2016, the Cabinet Office jointly published the National Flood Resilience Review, and revealed that it had ignored expert advice not to neglect the risk of surface water flooding to the nation’s buildings and transport networks. I hope the Committee will press the Cabinet Office to consider how to improve its use of evidence, including by appointing its own departmental chief scientific adviser.”
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
- The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (https://www.cccep.ac.uk/) is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/). The Centre’s mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
- The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham) was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (http://www.granthamfoundation.org/).