Check the government’s evidence

Ella Rhodes reports.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has launched a new ‘evidence check’ online forum to look at the evidence on which the government bases its science policies. The aim is to give experts and members of the public chance to scrutinise the facts behind these policies and offer up comments, views and criticisms.

The forum’s launch saw four evidence papers published online and more will be added in the coming months. The first policies released for scrutiny included evidence behind government policy on smart meters, digital government, access to healthcare, and flexible working.

Views on these papers can be posted on the forum (link below); a Committee statement said it was inviting views particularly on the strength of the evidence and how well the government’s approach to policies reflects the evidence. It suggested comments would help with future work of the Science and Technology Committee by identifying areas for scrutiny hearings or for launching inquiries.

Nicola Blackwood MP, Chair of the Committee said: ‘We have asked the government to set out the evidence underpinning a number of policy areas and are putting it online for everyone to analyse, scrutinise and comment on. I hope that these evidence checks will prove a valuable way to examine how the government uses evidence to make policy and I would encourage everyone – whether experts in the fields or not – to send us their thoughts and insights.’

For the Evidence Check Forum page see tinyurl.com/hn4k8r2

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