Feeds

MPs squeeze science back onto select committee list

What's in a name

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The House of Commons stationery department was working overtime yesterday, after MPs forced the government to accept there was a need for a select committee with explicit responsibility for overseeing science.

The former Science and Technology Committee was borged into the freshly minted Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee in November.

The move was set in train by Gordon Brown’s carve-up of the DTI last year, which scattered the staff of the former Office for Science and Innovation into the newly-created Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. This left the Science and Technology Committee with no one to watch over. At the time, the MPs on the committee went on the attack arguing that Parliament still needed someone with a brief, and the expertise, to examine the government’s policies on science. And technology.

However, despite losing their fight to keep the Sci/Tech Committee together, the MPs have at least forced the government to accept a name change, so Science will be shoehorned back into the title of the DIUS committee. This gives it the rather unwieldy title of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee, but should make clear that it will be examining science issues right across the government.

Committee chairman Phil Willis MP said he thought the government recognised that it had made a mistake in dissolving the old committee.

He conceded the new committee would not have the single-minded scientific focus of the old committee. At the same time, he said, the committee had been given a 50 per cent increase in resources, compared to the Sci/Tech committee, to help it cover its wider brief.

He said that the new committee had 14 members, where the old committee had 11. Of the 14, eight are veterans of the Sci/Tech committee, and Willis said that as chairman, he would have to “guard against” the committee being overly focused on science issues - at the expense, presumably, of the crucial issues and problems faced by media studies lecturers in the former Polytechnics.

The name change will need a motion in the house, but this should happen within two weeks. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.