The British parliament has launched an inquiry into the role of science in UK international development policy.
The inquiry, which is being carried out by the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, aims to examine how research, technology and innovation affect the government's development policies and practices. It also seeks to assess the impact of such policies in building a science base in developing countries.
"We want to see how effectively the government … is using science and technology to underpin its international development policy," says the chairman of the committee, Ian Gibson, a former professor of biosciences at the University of East Anglia.
"Is UK science contributing effectively to the long term prosperity of developing countries by helping them to develop a scientific capacity, or are we just tackling short term problems as they arise?"
The committee is inviting written comments by 14 November. Guidance on the submission of such evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm.