INSIDE BRIEFING with Institute for Government

Share

Advice to government in the coronavirus crisis

Season 1, Ep. 69

This is an audio recording of an IfG Live Event

 

The announcement of a second England lockdown came following repeated warnings from the UK government’s scientific advisers about the spread of coronavirus. Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, scientific advice to the government has been highly visible, with Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, repeatedly sharing a platform with Boris Johnson. Members of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) continue to feature prominently across broadcast outlets and in coverage of the government’s handling of the crisis.

Other forms of advice, including economic advice from the Treasury, have been far less transparent, often creating the impression that SAGE is the government’s main and most influential advisory body. And yet economic arguments have also featured prominently in the debate about whether and when to lockdown again.

How should science advice be combined with other kinds of evidence and presented to ministers? Does there need to be more transparency about the type of advice government is receiving and how it is using it? Does the prominence of SAGE undermine public understanding of other forms of evidence?

To discuss these questions, the IfG was delighted to welcome:

  • Professor John Edmunds, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and participant in SAGE
  • Professor Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology at UCL and participant in SAGE and Independent SAGE
  • Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court, former Treasury Permanent Secretary (2005–16)
  • Nancy Hey, Executive Director of What Works Wellbeing

This event was chaired by Dr Catherine Haddon, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government.

#IfGScience

More Episodes

9/24/2021

Levelling Up Means Levelling Up

Season 1, Ep. 127
“Levelling-up” was one of the key Conservative manifesto pledges at the last election, and now it even has its own government department and minister, but what exactly does it mean? A new IFG paper takes a look what the Government has been saying on the subject, and the spending promises made so far.Plus, next week sees the expiration of the £20 Universal Credit uplift, but how much pressure is chancellor Rishi Sunak under? And what should we expect from Keir Starmer’s first conference as Labour leader? The I’s deputy political editor Arj Singh joins us on today’s show.“Experts compare levelling-up to the difference between East and West Germany, which took decades” - Arj Singh“The Government are gearing up for the next election to be fought on levelling-up” - Cath Haddon“A big question is how much are we going to level-up politically with local government and city mayors?” - Cath Haddon“The problem for the Government is that they made a big increase in benefits, they now look like they’re trying to make a big cut” - Nick Timmins“This Universal Credit cut hits the areas the Government wants to level-up hardest” - Arj Singh“Keir Starmer does need to put some meat on the bones of his offer or the public will stop listening to him” - Arj Singh“Angela Rayner is positioning herself to take advantage of any slip ups from Starmer” - Arj SinghPresented by Bronwen Maddox with Cath Haddon, Eleanor Shearer and Nick Timmins. Audio production by Alex Rees. Inside Briefing is a Podmasters Production for the IfG.https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk