It's always been a complicated relationship. Politicians rely on scientists to provide them with accurate advice they can use to make important decisions about the lives we all lead. But keeping politicians up to date with science, as parliament's scientific champion Andrew Miller admits, is "permanently difficult". And ministers often decide to ignore the advice they receive altogether.
Each department has a chief scientific officer. Miller, as chair of the Commons' science and technology committee, talks to all of them. "With a few exceptions, the relationships are moving in the right direction," he says. "There have been some exceptions where the way in which scientific advice has been sought and delivered has been tantamount to saying, 'here's the answer, now give me the question'. That comes from people who don't understand how proper scientific decisions are determined."
Politics is often to blame for the disconnect between science and policy. Take fracking, one of the mostRead More »from Why can’t science and politics get along?