The Received Wisdom

 I couldn’t make the launch last week of the pamphlet published by the Demos think-tank: The Received Wisdom – Opening up expert advice.

Some of my Agency colleagues did attend and I’ve now got my own copy.

The pamphlet focuses on the role of experts and the need to embrace a greater range of expertise. I was pleased to see the importance of lay members on expert committees was recognised and parallels drawn with the key governance role of non-executive directors of companies.

Demos also raises a number of issues about the role of lay members on expert committees that I want to discuss with the Chairs of the independent scientific advisory committees and my colleagues on the secretariats.

The pamphlet raises a number of important issues about the relationships between experts on scientific advisory committees and those who use their advice. There’s a lot of food for thought here and I will be discussing with colleagues how we can feed this into our developing science governance work.