Catalogue description Department of Education and Science and predecessors: General Science Branch: Registered Files (GS Series)
|Title:||Department of Education and Science and predecessors: General Science Branch: Registered Files (GS Series)|
Papers of the General Science Branch and its predecessors relating to various working parties of which it held the secretariat, including postgraduate awards, postgraduate education, genetic manipulation, cancer research (Lord Zuckerman's report), the establishment of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the chairmanship of various research councils.
There are also minutes, agendas and papers of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils and the Sub-Committee on International Co-operation in Space.
Additionally the series contains files on safety issues addressed by the Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee.
Files of the Lord President of the Council and Minister for Science are in CAB 124
Records of the Overseas Liaison Group and the International Scientific Relations Division are in FV 7
|Held by:||The National Archives, Kew|
|Former reference in its original department:||GS file series|
|Legal status:||Public Record(s)|
Department of Education and Science, General Science Branch, 1964-1991
Office of Lord President of the Council, Scientific Secretariat, 1948-1959
Office of the Minister for Science, 1959-1964
|Physical description:||118 file(s)|
|Immediate source of acquisition:||
From 2000 Department of Trade and Industry
|Custodial history:||Transferred to the Cabinet Office in 1991 and to the Department of Trade and Industry in 1996.|
|Accumulation dates:||File series ran from 1964 to 1991.|
|Selection and destruction information:||Policy files are always selected for permanent preservation.|
|Accruals:||Series is accruing|
|Administrative / biographical background:||
In the re-organisation of government following the Second World War, responsibility for science policy was vested in the Office of the Lord President of the Council which, by 1948, had established a Scientific Secretariat. This was later augmented by the addition of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy in the mid-1950s.
Under the Minister for Science Order 1959, all the powers of the Prime Minister and the Lord President of the Council in respect of atomic energy, radioactive substances, space research and various research organisations were transferred to a new Minister for Science. The minister was also responsible for broad questions on scientific policy, on which s/he was advised by the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy.
In 1964 these functions were transferred to the renamed Department of Education and Science. Branches I and II were responsible for science policy. In 1969 these two branches were dissolved and replaced with a single Science Branch with two divisions: the Council for Scientific Policy, and International Scientific Relations. There was a further reorganisation in 1973, this time splitting Science Branch into four divisions. Various reorganisations followed, and by 1990 three divisions remained.
In its various permutations, General Science Branch was responsible for relations with and grants to a variety of Research Councils, including the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Royal Society, the British Museum and international scientific organisations. It provided the secretariat for the Advisory Board for the Research Councils and was responsible for managing scientific research in higher and further education, teacher training, and manpower flows.
In 1991, these functions were transferred to the Cabinet Office and renamed the Office of Public Services and Science. In 1994 it was renamed the Office for Science and Technology (OST). In 1996 OST was transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
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