National science body proposed for Saudi Arabia
If approved, the NCSR would be supervised by the prime minister and headed by the minister of higher education. It's planned activities include creating and implementing policies related to science, guiding and supporting research, and preparing educational programmes in specific scientific fields.
To help build scientific capacity, the NCSR will analyse the country's needs and advise the government on ways to establish and maintain the necessary number of qualified scientists and the facilities they need to conduct research and teaching.
The NCSR would also develop scientific standards to measure the quality and innovative nature of scientific research in Saudi Arabia. It would provide independent advice on matters ranging from ethics to the environment, and encourage dialogue between the Saudi scientific community and the government, private sector and general public.
Khider Alshibani, a physics professor at King Saudi University, says that before the Shoura Council's proposal can be approved, a government committee needs to scrutinise it in detail.