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New science advice plan for Europe

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13 May 2015

Later today European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to endorse a new proposal for science advice in European policy making. The proposal from Commissioner Moedas is expected to recommend that a panel of science academy experts replace the position of Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission which was held by Professor Anne Glover until the position was ended in November 2014.

(See letter to President Juncker at the time and similar reactions from research bodies across Europe)

As an organisation committed to getting decision makers to use and explain evidence – and to make them publicly accountable for it – here is our response to the outline of today’s proposals.

Tracey Brown, Director, Sense About Science: “If the European science and social science academies will be more involved in scrutinising and applying evidence to European policy, we might see some improvements in the reasoning behind policies. But committees lack some important features of individual advisers: there are much vaguer lines of personal responsibility and accountability, and committees in general are at risk of being conservative, reaching conclusions that no one member stands behind and consensus that doesn’t really exist. They are also more obscure to the wider public. Whether this panel can counter that under the proposed new system, through individuals being proactive and taking discussions about policy out into the public domain, is not clear. What is clear is that the chain of reasoning for European regulation and policy needs to be more evidence based and less obscure to citizens who want to know how decisions have been reached and whether evidence supports them.”

Update: President Juncker has announced his plan. Read the announcement and see the propsed mechanism here 
Source: Sense About Science

 

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