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expert reaction to the government abandoning the anti-lobbying clause

The Cabinet Office announced new standards in government grants which confirm that the anti-lobbying clause, proposed earlier this year, has been abandoned.

 

Prof Sir Robert Lechler, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“The new standards are a welcome revision of previous proposals to introduce an anti-lobbying clause into all government grants, and have been issued following dialogue between the Government and the research community, including the National Academies.

“As a grant recipient, the Academy of Medical Sciences is committed to ensuring that this funding is used wisely and responsibly, providing value to Government and the public. I am particularly pleased that the new Standards recognise the role of researchers and institutions such as the Academy, who play an essential role providing independent expertise and evidence to inform public policy.”

 

Dr Sarah Main, Director of Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), said:

“This is good news. Having paused the anti-lobbying clause, the Government have listened to the concerns of the research community and developed a new position that fully supports researchers in all that they do to inform and influence policy-making.”

“This new set of standards marks the official end of the anti-lobbying clause. CaSE worked hard to protect research from the implications of the anti-lobbying clause earlier this year. I am glad that the government have listened and have fully understood and endorsed the full range of activities of the research community, not just in exploring their own fields but in communicating their findings and informing policy.”

 

Prof Alun Evans, Chief Executive of the British Academy, said:

‘The British Academy is pleased to see that today’s announcement on the new Minimum Grant Standards Framework incorporates the guarantees that were given by Ministers in April this year, prior to the dropping of their potentially damaging Anti-Lobbying proposals. It is part of the DNA of an open, democratic society that it protects the freedom of academic researchers and scholars to present the evidence of their impartial, robust research to fellow experts, to the public and to government. Good, informed policy making depends on this freedom.

“It is therefore good news to see the Government clarify that science and research bodies, including the National Academies, will not be prevented from sharing the findings of the research they fund and generate, widely and openly. As the Academy said in April, it is vital that researchers remain free to choose their topics, to follow where the evidence takes them, and to communicate their findings.”

 

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