The RSE has responded to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s Inquiry into UK Science, Research and Technology Capability and Influence in Global Disease Outbreaks. This inquiry is examining the UK’s approach to the Coronavirus pandemic, including the role that scientific advice has played in informing governments’ management of the outbreak.
RSE President, Professor Dame Anne Glover chaired a broad-ranging working group that prepared the RSE response. The Covid-19 pandemic was a predictable event, even if the timing and exact nature of the event could not be foreseen. The RSE submission explores:
- the UK’s approach to identifying and managing risks;
- ways in which the pandemic has highlighted the need to build up the UK’s national resilience;
- UK testing capacity and infrastructure and how this influenced government decision making;
- the role and expertise within the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and its relationship with government decision makers;
- the availability and quality of data to inform the UK’s response to the pandemic; and
- communication with the public during the pandemic.