Mission, vision and priorities

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The Science Council’s Mission, Vision and Priorities 2012-2017


The Science Council advances science and the application of science for society by bringing together a broad spectrum of professional bodies and learned societies across science to focus on the education, skills and professionalism of the science community.    


Within five years the Science Council will have become the leading UK voice on the skills and professionalism of scientists, having successfully raised the profile of professional scientists and increased awareness of the valuable contribution made by professional bodies and learned societies to UK science.

In order to achieve this vision the Science Council will work in three priority areas:

1. The Science Council will serve society and the economy by enhancing the professionalism of the science workforce and building trust and confidence in science, by:

  • Promoting appreciation of the value of science in society and an understanding of the role and importance of scientists in the workforce;
  • Supporting the continuing professional development of scientists through delivering registers that provide a common high standard across the disciplines and sectors of science and at all levels in the science workforce; 
  • Promoting science as a career, by increasing awareness and attractiveness of careers built on scientific knowledge and expertise, and highlighting the value of such skills and knowledge to health, sustainable economic development and social well-being;
  • Encouraging employers to invest in the training, development and professionalism of their science workforce;
  • Working towards a science workforce that reflects the diversity of society;
  • Collaborating with others across the science and engineering sectors, enabling and developing links and networks across science in support of both individuals and organisations.

2. The Science Council will provide a voice on policy issues affecting the science community, fostering debate and the exchange of ideas:

  • Undertaking research and analysis into the nature of the current and future UK science workforce;
  • Encouraging engagement on cross science community issues through research, meetings, discussion papers, policy proposals and responses to consultations;
  • Identifying and articulating common concerns and key messages;
  • Participating in public affairs activities, including events in Parliament and at political party conferences;
  • Supporting a biennial Roberts Lecture and other events on policy issues relevant to the contribution of scientists in the health and prosperity of the UK society and commerce.

3. The Science Council will support its member bodies to be more effective in meeting the needs of the science community by:

  • Providing access to key policy makers and stakeholders, acting as a conduit to government, national academies, employers, business and other relevant organisations and sectors;
  • Signposting the policy landscape, supporting collaboration and developing an interdisciplinary approach on relevant policy issues; 
  • Identifying ways in which its member bodies can develop and achieve a diverse and inclusive membership;
  • Developing and sharing good practice, and facilitating a collective response to common issues and activities;
  • Raising awareness of the role of professional bodies in science and promoting the value of individual membership and collective action.

How we work:

  • The Science Council is a representative membership organisation of learned societies and professional bodies across science and its applications in which all member bodies are valued and respected for their commitment to science and the professional practice of science.
  • The Science Council’s strength comes from its inclusive approach to membership, attracting qualifying organisations across disciplines and professions and an ability to be multi- and inter-disciplinary in its approach.  
  • The Science Council will emphasise the importance of the core disciplines of maths, chemistry, biology and physics in underpinning science but will be fully engaged in science and its applications.
  • The Science Council will aim to provide leadership in policy, facilitating and co-ordinating activities reflecting the changing nature of science and the challenges facing society. The Science Council works inclusively and in partnership with other organisations across science (including engineering, technology, mathematics, medicine, health, agriculture, environment etc) and those beyond science.
  • Science Council policy and communications activities will have a clear and credible mandate of support from member organisations and will be informed by a sound knowledge and understanding of the positions and concerns of individual members bodies.
  • The Science Council believes that individual members are best placed to comment on issues affecting their own profession or disciplines and that it should offer specific support and comment only where a member body asks it to do so.
  • The Science Council works with member bodies, policy makers and opinion formers, and employers through advocacy and support for the profession of scientist, and the application of science for society and the economy.
  • The Science Council's professional registers will be visible across all its activities and will show the importance and value of professional registration to the practice of science.