By Alan Mercer, Sciencewise Programme Director
I am delighted to announce that Ricardo-AEA and our partners at Involve and the British Science Association have been awarded a 1 year extension by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for the continued delivery of the Sciencewise programme. This contract will allow us to continue to support Government policy makers and to encourage the more widespread use of public dialogue in the development of policy involving science and technology.
It is very exciting to have this opportunity to continue delivery of the Sciencewise programme. I feel very proud of what the programme is achieving and am clearly delighted by this show of support and commitment from BIS. It is excellent recognition for the efforts of our team at Ricardo-AEA, Involve, the British Science Association, and our expert team of dialogue and engagement specialists.
Sciencewise has had a number of recent notable achievements. For example our support to the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Association (HFEA) on public dialogue on mitochondria donation was quoted in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords as ‘a highly commended, respected and wide-ranging public dialogue’.
The recent House of Commons Select Committee report on ‘Advanced genetic techniques for crop improvement: regulation, risk and precaution’ highlighted, in its recommendations, not only the value of Sciencewise’s involvement to date, but also an important role for the programme into the future.
But we must also recognise that there is a lot still be done. This extension will allow us to continue to help policy makers with the complexities of public engagement, to further raise the skill levels across Government, to develop different ways for policy makers to bring the public voice into policy, and to develop options for continuation of the type of activity and outcomes that Sciencewise advocates and supports.