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Thursday 27th October 2016

Public warnings need risk scale

15th November 2006

The government needs to get better at handling health scares through better communication, says a new report.

A report from the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology said a new government scientific service is needed to improve long-term planning.

It called for a universal scale of risks for all government departments when alerting the public to danger to avoid panic and keep concerns in perspective.

Among almost 70 recommendations, the committee wants negative attitudes towards scientific qualifications to be tackled. It recommends a separate chief scientific adviser which is currently a role of the head of the Office of Science and Innovation.

The report comes following an inquiry into the government's handling of scientific advice, risk, and evidence in policy making.

It concludes lessons could be learned from the US model.

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