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On being a DCSA A critical friend to Government Professor Brian Collins CB, FREng Professor of Engineering Policy Head of Department of Science, Techonology.

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Presentation on theme: "On being a DCSA A critical friend to Government Professor Brian Collins CB, FREng Professor of Engineering Policy Head of Department of Science, Techonology."— Presentation transcript:

1 On being a DCSA A critical friend to Government Professor Brian Collins CB, FREng Professor of Engineering Policy Head of Department of Science, Techonology Engineering and Public Policy, UCL

2 Success factors for a DCSA Evidence Advice Scrutiny Research Professionalism Multidisciplinarity Networking Ambassador

3 Being on the inside The network of Departmental CSAs –Big policy issues are multi department –STEM is in most of them Infrastructure, Environment. Energy, Transport, Cities Growth, Resilience, Compliance, Innovation –RCUK, Academies and Institutes are doing a very good job in providing assistance for evidence and assurance – Whitehall can use them more

4 The Club of CSAs

5 Case study 1 Bio-mass –Evidence that cultivated and natural biomass can be used for fuel - Brazil –Negative impact on food supply in developing countries –Scientific analysis suggests biomass is better used for energy and heat in communities –Waste can be used as ‘biomass’ –Targets for bio-fuel use already set in international agreements – EU wide Pan departmental scientific and policy coordination to generate evidence – meanwhile - change policy Measures to generate national and international trust

6 Case Study 2 Information Security –Clear need to value information as an asset –Protective marking fine for paper based world – inadequate for ICT based working – no binding between marking and text –Controlled sharing now the paradigm for influencing others –Control technologies inadequate – practices ill formed – breaches unacceptable –Lack of trust in systems and processes – inadequate awareness of issues Awareness campaigns – knowledge transfer networks – research into new technologies Government procedures – training – but where is policy for the commercial world? Left to the market….!

7 Case Study 3 Modernisation of Thameslink –Increased passenger throughput crucial to business case –Behaviour of people exiting and entering trains critical to revenue generation –Model of behaviour based on thirty year old design of rolling stock – and simplistic –New experimental rig used to develop new models – transformed whole carriage/platform/furniture/timetable design Trust in model without examination of assumptions in the model Observational evidence had impact outside expected context – Crossrail - Olympics

8 Issues of national importance

9 Influencing policy implementation Agencies and private industry actually carry out policy implementation Role of the CSAs is in impacting the policy ecosystem as much as policy generation departments –RCs, TSB, RGOs, NDPBs, PSRLs, Industry Evidence of policy effectiveness is hard to gather

10 Attributes of a DCSA Polymath existence (for an ex-physicist) –biofuels, traffic flow management, volcanic ash and jet engines, cybersecurity, nuclear waste, weather, land use planning, Coping with multiple ‘reporting’ lines Managing a huge network of senior level contacts Maintaining sanity and objectivity

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16 Success factors Have an excellent team to work with you and support you. Use the privileged position sparingly but decisively Learn the techniques of the elevator pitch –Concise, accurate, have impact Be –A Critical Friend, –Open to Learning, –Strong in your opinions, –Humble when necessary –Dogmatic when necessary Have fun!!

17 Thank you


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