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Waste under scientific spotlight

The role of secondary materials across British life is being considered by a group of experts for a Whitehall report commissioned by the Prime Minister’s top scientific adviser.

The report will comprise a series of chapters written by specialists, including those from the waste industry and local authorities, and is expected to be published at the end of the year.

mark walport

Mark Walport

Its theme, considering waste from a range of perspectives, including social, commercial, environmental and the natural sciences, is the personal choice of Sir Mark Walport, the government chief scientific adviser (GCSA) and head of the Government Office for Science since 2013.

A spokeswoman for Walport said the report was being prepared in collaboration with Defra’s chief scientific adviser, Professor Ian Boyd, “to explore issues of waste in a cross-cutting, multi-disciplinary way”.

This will be the third report from the GCSA. The first, in 2014, looked at the relationship between risk and innovation while the second in 2015 considered the power and applications of forensic science.

The GCSA is responsible for:

  • providing scientific advice to the prime minister and members of Cabinet
  • advising the Government on aspects of policy on science and technology
  • ensuring and improving the quality and use of scientific evidence and advice in Government

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