Science and engineering runs through the work of government. It is critical for maintaining the resilience, wellbeing, health and security of the UK.
For example, to protect the UK from terrorists, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure has pioneered new materials and techniques to improve security barriers.
During the winter storms of 2013-14, the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies provided reassurance that all that could be done was being done in response to the worsening flood conditions. They also assessed a range of worst case weather and flooding scenarios, and provided guidance on landslides, sinkholes and impacts to key infrastructure.
Genomics England, a company owned by the Department of Health, is actively sequencing 100,000 genomes, including those of patients with rare or highly infectious diseases. This will allow scientists to investigate the causes of a range of diseases, provide new diagnoses and research more effective treatments for patients.
Government science and engineering profession
There are more than 10,000 civil servants who identify as members of the Government’s Science and Engineering (GSE) profession, according to Civil Service Learning registration figures. None of the diverse work that I have mentioned above would be possible without them.
Their expertise ranges from deep scientific and engineering expertise right through to broad policy experience. Government relies on them every day to provide the important evidence and analysis that underpins UK policy.
Valuing excellent work
The recently published Civil Service Workforce plan lays out the priorities for how the Civil Service will become ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’. As new and emerging technologies advance at a rapid rate, there is potential to transform public service delivery and the way we work. GSE has a role to play ensuring that the Civil Service stays abreast of these changes.
This autumn, GSE will launch a new strategy for the profession that outlines what it will achieve over the next 5 years and how it can provide its members with satisfying career paths, development opportunities and rewards for excellent work. This strategy will ensure that the profession is well placed to exploit opportunities presented by change. It will ensure that we have the right skills and expertise in place to support the Civil Service’s vision and are ready to respond to challenges the UK will face.
Connecting across government
This new blog is a place for GSE to connect with other members of the profession and to share ideas, opportunities, resources and examples of best practice. I encourage you to get involved and to contact the GSE team with ideas for future blog posts.
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