Catalogue description Records of the Council for Scientific Policy and Scientific Committees, Working Parties etc

Details of Division within ED
Reference: Division within ED
Title: Records of the Council for Scientific Policy and Scientific Committees, Working Parties etc

Records reflecting the responsibilities of the Council for Scientific Policy and various scientific committees and working parties, for science education and research, including scientific policy, funding, international scientific relations, and relations with other specialist bodies.

Agenda, minutes and papers of the Council for Scientific Policy are in ED 215, with those of some of its sub-committees and working parties in ED 214. Minutes and papers of the Council's Committee on Manpower Resources for Science and Technology (Jackson Committee) are in ED 210.

Agenda, minutes and papers of other scientific committees, arranged as follows:

  • Advisory Committee on the Animals (Restriction of Importation) Act 1964 in ED 258;
  • Committee on International Scientific Co-operation in ED 257;
  • Committee on Overseas Scientific Relations and sub-committees in ED 252;
  • Mineral Resources Consultative Committee in ED 222.

Registered files of the General Science Branch are in ED 273.

Advisory Board for the Research Councils, Sub-Committees and Working Groups: Agendas, Papers and Minutes are in ED 279

Date: 1965-1983
Related material:

Records of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy are in

Subseries within CAB 132

Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Council for Scientific Policy, 1965-1972

Physical description: 9 series
Administrative / biographical background:

On 1 April 1964 the Office of the Minister for Science was abolished and all the Minister's functions transferred to the new Secretary of State for Education and Science. Between 1964 and 1992 there were sometimes one and sometimes two science branches, dealing with general questions of scientific policy, international scientific relations, relations with the Agricultural, Medical, Natural Environment, Science and Social Science Research Councils, the Royal Society and the British Museum (Natural History) and with scientific estimates and finance.

The secretary of state received scientific policy advice from the Council for Scientific Policy. This council was set up in 1965 by the secretary of state to advise him on all aspects of his responsibilities with reference to science. Its primary function was to advise on the resources that should be made available for science including where additional resources might be needed. Previously this function had been carried out by the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy. It was recognised that the council would need to work out a constructive relationship with the new research councils, and liaise with the Ministry of Technology and the Royal Society.

The Council for Scientific Policy was initially chaired by Sir Harrie Massey, who was replaced in 1970 by Sir Frederick Dainton. Council members were eminent scientists drawn from universities and industry. The secretariat was supplied by the Department of Education and Science (DES). Also present were assessors from the Medical and Agricultural Research Councils, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the University Grants Committee, and representatives from DES, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Technology. The council's main area of interest was in research, both that carried out in universities and increasingly that by the new research councils. The council set up a number of committees, sub-committees and working parties. Reports made by these groups are included among the papers presented to the council.

The Council for Scientific Policy was wound up in 1972, when many of its functions passed to the Advisory Board for the Research Councils. In 1992, responsibility for scientific matters was transferred to the new Office of Science and Technology.

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