On Wednesday 3 November 2010, Jil Matheson, the UK’s National Statistician spoke to PolicyNet, a group of policy professionals from across Westminster that work with the science and engineering fields.

Jil spoke in-depth about the uses of statistics in policy making and covered a range of topics starting with the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 to the services her role covers; uses and misuses of statistics to the challenges for obtaining the right statistics, through the right methods, to obtain the right impact. She gave members an overview of the role of statisticians in the policy process, with particular emphasis on bringing departmental statisticians in at the very early stages of policy formation.

The purpose of PolicyNet is to provide information on aspects of policy making within government, parliament and other organisations. Another facet is providing networking opportunities for policy staff from a range of (mostly scientific) organisations such as learned societies, research councils and think tanks. Along with Jil Matheson, the group has had a range of speakers and topics in the past that have included Phil Willis MP, Adam Afriyie MP and Sir David King.

The next PolicyNet meetings will be held on 16 December and 14 February to discuss “The new knowledge economy – making the best of the research base” and “The challenges ahead for science, engineering and technology policy for the House” respectively. If you would like to attend either of these please contact  Katherine MacGregor  at The Royal Academy of Engineering.

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. Direct tel +44 (0) 20 7766 0636; email:  Jane Sutton