Science a key foundation for international development

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Select Committee focuses on science as a key foundation for international development

The House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee report on ‘Building scientific capacity for development’ has recommended the Department for International Development (DfID) advance a clearer policy on its commitment to the application of science for capacity building in developing countries. 

The Committee acknowledged the problem of supporting science careers in developing countries, and recommended DfID and UK Research Councils develop new funding schemes and career progression frameworks for UK researchers working in partnership with scientists in developing countries and for early career researchers in developing countries. The Committee was also keen to see the UK actively promote the idea of Chief Scientific Advisors in developing countries as a way of strengthening and shaping their own long-term development.

 Diana Garnham, CEO of the Science Council said: “I welcome the Committee’s report - it is important to remind ourselves that science and scientists have a key role to play in tackling the huge problems currently facing developing nations and that there are many benefits to international collaboration”.

“Our Member Bodies have a strong interest in fostering international scientific partnership to solving global issues, such as climate change and food scarcity, and many are active in working with institutions in developing nations to overcome these challenges. We will continue to work with our Members to identify ways in which we can support them in this role”.