Give dons credit for committee duties, say MPs

March 23, 2001

Academics are being prevented from giving advice to the government because of the cost to their universities, MPs have warned.

The House of Commons science and technology select committee wants the research assessment exercise and teaching quality assessments to take account of scientists serving on advisory committees giving minister access to their expertise. The fact that it does not has stopped some and discouraged others from participation, according to the MPs' report The Scientific Advisory System , published yesterday.

"Some vice-chancellors may actively prevent their members from joining government committees because of the adverse effect on their funding," the report concludes.

The recommendations follow an investigation into how the government handles scientific advice.

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