Reports are produced in consultation with the Council. The Council reviews drafts of the report before it is submitted for peer review and then approves the final report prior to publication. Once the report is approved by the Council, it becomes the report of the Council.
Council projects aim to make specific policy recommendations. Following the publication of a report, the Council will initiate a programme of follow-up activities to disseminate the report (seeking media coverage, speaking at conferences or public engagement activities) and encourage the uptake of its recommendations.
Examples of follow-up activities relating to specific projects that the Council has undertaken include:
- A roundtable discussion with the Department of Health on public trust and health data to discuss recommendations made in the Council’s report on Biological and health data
- Two follow-up workshops with university research leaders and support staff, and a wider set of stakeholders to discuss how to put into place the Council’s suggestions for action from its Research Culture project.
- Hosting a roundtable discussion with the Health Research Authority on the use of placebo surgery following the Council’s report on Novel Neurotechnologies.
The Council seeks policy impact by producing briefing notes, speaking at events, meetings and responding to relevant consultations and inquiries (in the UK or internationally). For example:
- The Council presented written and oral evidence to a Parliamentary inquiry on GM crops. The resulting report called on the government to respond to the Council’s recommendation for a reorganisation of scientific advice.
- The Council’s report on mitochondrial DNA donation was heavily cited in public and policy debates which led to a change in legislation allowing the techniques. The Council submitted oral and written evidence to a Parliamentary inquiry and to the HFEA.
- The Council’s report on forensic bioinformation was cited in a European Court of Human Rights ruling, and later a Supreme Court decision which found that indefinite DNA retention was unlawful, in line with Council recommendations.
Policy briefing papers and consultation responses are available in the Policy section of the Council’s website. You can find out more about developments for each published report in our Previous work section.