The Council for Science and Technology was reconstituted in 2011 with new terms of reference, a new membership, and a new way of working. CST terms of reference were amended at the September 2007 meeting.
Terms of reference
The Council's terms of reference reflect its:
- UK-wide remit
- responsibility for looking at issues that cut across government departments
- facility to engage in a wide range of policy areas.
The members of the Council are respected senior figures drawn from across the field of science, engineering and technology. They are appointed by the Prime Minister and in line with guidance from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. CST will draw on additional expertise by inviting non-members to join subgroups that are taking forward specific pieces of work.
Ways of working
The Council has two chairs, each with a distinct role. Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell was appointed by the Prime Minister; she chairs any meeting where CST is discussing and developing its advice to government. Sir Mark Walport, the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, chairs those meetings where CST is reporting its advice to government.
The CST work programme is developed by its members in discussion with government. Government can ask CST to consider particular issues; the Council is under no obligation to agree to these requests if it believes that other work would be of greater value.
The Council decides the approach to each area of work on a case-by-case basis. It can also choose to deliver its advice to government by various routes including:
- publishing reports
- through confidential written advice
- discussions with ministers, officials and special advisers.
Further information on the CST can be found in Council for Science and Technology: ways of working (PDF, 185 Kb) .