The Government needs to check its lists of experts who can provide scientific advice during a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (‘CBRN’) incident to make sure the UK is ready for such emergencies, according to a Science and Technology Committee report. The Committee of MPs was warned by Dr Dame Sue Ion, a member of the emergency science advice group set up to respond to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan in 2011, that many of the UK subject matter experts involved in providing advice during that incident have since retired. The report explores the mechanisms for drawing on science advice to plan for and respond to potential disasters ranging from industrial fires to major toxic spills and chemical attacks. It found a “confusing landscape of organisations and acronyms which has been difficult to navigate”. The Committee also investigated how the communication of science could be improved during an emergency, and calls for a dedicated independent scientific press officer to be appointed to all future emergency advice groups (known as SAGEs).
Parliament 5th Apr 2017 read more »