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UK criticized on science

Gov't departments told to make more use of science in policy and planning

Stephen Pincock(Stephen@thescientisteurope.com)

Britain's Department for International Development (DfID) was roundly criticized this week for failing to give enough emphasis to science in its policy making. A parliamentary committee said on Tuesday (October 26) that the department's undervaluing of science had weakened the support Britain has offered developing countries.

"We are concerned that the quality of policy making in DfID may, on occasion, have been compromised by a lack of recognition of the value and role of research and evaluation," the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology said in a report published Tuesday.

The committee members said the department had serious weaknesses in the way it uses science, adding that it suffers from a "fundamental lack of scientific culture."

"The frailties in DfID's approach to science, technology, and research have had a detrimental effect on the support that DFID provides to developing countries," the committee members said. "There is now...

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