A new agency to advise the Government on science policy has been appointed by Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin TD. The Advisory Science Council will have 12 members and be chaired by well-known software industry consultant Mary Cryan.
The council replaces the Irish Council for Science Technology and Innovation (ICSTI), which was disbanded last September. The ICTSI was instrumental in persuading the Government to invest billions of euro in modern research infrastructure and attracting world-class scientists to Ireland.
The creation of the new body was one of the recommendations of the ICSTI Commission Report, chaired by Dr Edward Walsh, which was published in December 2002. The announcement of the new body completes the structures now in place for STI co-ordination and governance, which also include: a dedicated Cabinet Committee, supported by a high-level Inter-departmental Committee (IDC), and the appointment of the Government’s first chief science adviser Dr Barry McSweeney.
The new body will channel its advice through the IDC and its work programme will be agreed in conjunction with the IDC to ensure coherence across all elements of STI policy.
“The council will have an important role to play in the new structures that Government has put in place to enhance the co-ordination and governance of STI policy,” said the minister.
As well as advising Government on science policy, the council will act as the primary point of contact between stakeholders and policymakers in the STI arena, contributing to the development and delivery of a coherent and effective national strategy for STI. The council’s membership will be drawn from industry, academia and the state sector.
By Brian Skelly