HC Deb 20 July 1987 vol 120 c82W
Mr. Harry Greenway

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will publish the Advisory Board for the Research Councils' strategic advice on the science base; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

The Advisory Board for the Research Councils' discussion document, "A Strategy for the Science Base", is being published today. It is an important contribution to the development of policy in this area, and I am grateful to Sir David Phillips and the members of the board for their valuable advice.

As announced in Cmnd. 9849 last year, the Government's policy is to maintain and enhance the strength and quality of the science base. We seek to increase the returns to the nation from the public investment in scientific research, through greater concentration and selectivity, better targeting, closer links with industry, and more purposive management of research effort in the Research Councils and higher education. Many of the ABRC's recommendations are designed to meet these objectives.

Copies of the discussion document are being distributed widely to the higher education and scientific communities and other interested bodies. I am inviting their views and comments on the Board's recommendations by 31 October. In the light of these consultations the Government will announce its own conclusions on future policies for the science base and how these will be given effect.