Understanding understanding

May 14, 1999

The Office of Science and Technology is to do a review of public understanding of science activities. Sir Robert May, government chief scientist, told the House of Lords' science and technology committee this week that the government was keen to see how the Pounds 4.5 million of public money spent annually on such activities was being used.

He stressed, however, that there were no plans for government to take central control. Rather, "this functions best when a thousand flowers bloom," he said.

Tony Quigley, head of the science and engineering base directorate at OST, told the meeting that part of the exercise would involve looking at public understanding by, as well as of, science.

The exercise is expected to begin at the end of this month.

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