MPs on the Science Committee of the House of Commons call on the Minister to publish all facts considered by Sage
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According to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) regularly publishes the minutes of its meetings, modeling studies, and other related documents, but non-scientific information regarded by ministers is seldom made public. In a study on the use of scientific advice by the government in connection with the pandemic, MPs called on ministers to publish all evidence on the economic, social and educational effects that have influenced the coronavirus policy of the country. This should be applied to the other advice that goes into decisions, considering the progress of making scientific advice clear,” said Greg Clark, the committee’s Conservative chairman. “There is nothing to fear about transparency. The more open the facts, analysis and conclusions, the better it is for policy and public confidence,” Clark said. Releasing the documents would ensure that people knew what evidence was behind government policy, who provided it and how it was weighed against competing concerns, he said. “One of the things about scientific advice openness is that we know where it comes from, what it comes from, what it comes from, what it comes from, what it is.
The report said the new Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), which took over some of the work of Sage and prompted the UK to move this week to the highest level of coronavirus warning, should follow suit.
Clark said the JBC should publish its own reports, the records underlying its decisions, and the minutes of its board meetings. “It appears that the JBC is going to take on more burden, so the same standards of transparency [as Sage]should apply,” he said. There is also inadequate transparency about what guidance has been provided to the government and the transparency of the operation,” the report said.The prime minister and the health minister, Matt Hancock, have maintained during the crisis that the government is ”
But it is difficult to confirm, the report suggests. Although Sage now routinely releases minutes that make certain suggestions, the actual advice to ministers is not officially released. The report of the committee calls on the government to publish all scientific advice provided to date by its chief scientific advisor, Patrick Vallance, and the chief medical officer of England, Chris Whitty, and to agree to