It's not a union - perhaps it's a pressure group - but it may prove to be more like a professional body for the whole of science. That's the Science Council launched on Friday 16 June by the UK Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury, at the Royal Society in London.

"The Royal Society is an academy of self-elected fellows. An élite. But we shall stand for all scientists" Dr Jack Gow, the first Executive Secretary of the Science Council, told BioMed Central.

So far the Council has persuaded twelve professional institutions and societies to join, (see below) of which the largest is the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) with some 46 000 members, followed by the Institute of Physics (IoP) with 26 000. In total the twelve institutions represent around 100 000 scientists, many of them industry-based. Gow (a past Chief Executive of the RSC) and the first President of the...

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