DECC Science Advisory Group

DECC’s Science Advisory Group (SAG) was disbanded in December 2013.

DECC’s Science Advisory Group (SAG) was disbanded in December 2013.

Role of the group

DECC’s Science Advisory Group (SAG) is a group of leading scientists with a wide range of experience and expertise.

SAG exists to provide high-quality, independent scientific challenge and support to the Chief Scientific Advisor.

This is to ensure the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has access to the best possible scientific evidence, and to increase DECC’s engagement with the scientific community.

DECC currently spends around £25 million annually on scientific evidence-gathering. This work supports the department’s policies, helps meet UK, EU and UNFCCC reporting obligations, and feeds into the committee on Climate Change and DECC’s work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). DECC also works in partnership with the research councils and academic community where their work has policy-relevant outputs.

SAG provides external and independent scrutiny of these activities and directly advises the Chief Scientific Advisor. It also helps to guide the department’s scientific priorities and strategy.


SAG comprises 10 independent experts:

  • Professor John Shepherd FRS (Chair) - School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton
  • Chris Mottershead - King’s College London
  • Professor Nick Jenkins - Cardiff University
  • Professor Tadj Oreszczyn - Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL
  • Professor Stuart Haszeldine - University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Peter Cox - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter
  • Paul Watkiss - Paul Watkiss Associates (independent research consultancy specialising in climate change, environmental and economic policy advice)
  • Dame Sue - Imperial College London
  • Professor Nick Pidgeon - Cardiff University
  • Professor Jon Gibbins - Institute of Materials and Processes, University of Edinburgh

Annual report

DECC Science Advisory Group annual report: 2011/2012 (PDF, 404KB, 8 pages)



October 2013: meeting papers (ZIP, 681KB)

July 2013: meeting minutes (PDF, 497KB, 4 pages)

April 2013: meeting minutes (PDF, 474KB, 8 pages)


December 2012: meeting minutes (PDF, 164KB, 9 pages)

October 2012: meeting minutes - Smart Heating Control workshop (PDF, 37.3KB, 4 pages)

September 2012: meeting minutes (PDF, 130KB, 7 pages)

June 2012: meeting minutes (PDF, 207KB, 9 pages)

March 2012: meeting minutes (PDF, 176KB, 5 pages)

For previous minutes please go to the National Archives website.

Terms of reference

Terms of reference (PDF, 165KB, 13 pages)

Register of interests

For SAG to comply with the openness and accountability standards set by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA), it is necessary for members to declare their interests that may be relevant to the work of the SAG. These interests are recorded in this register:

Register of interests (PDF, 58.7KB, 4 pages)

Members’ interests will be reviewed on a regular basis and any changes will be published. Members have also been asked to declare any specific conflicts of interests at the start of SAG and sub-group meetings and, if so, requested to withdraw from the room for the duration of these items on the agenda.

All members are asked to declare both personal and non-personal interests (for example, those relating to university departments for which a member may be responsible) they feel might conflict with their responsibilities as a member of SAG, or which may be perceived (by a reasonable member of the public) to influence their judgement. Note that members are asked to declare both financial and non-financial interests.

Members are not asked to declare:

  • shareholdings through unit trusts or similar arrangements where the member has no influence on financial management
  • professional speaking engagements relevant to the work of SAG unless the member is being paid to make a specific point

Note that the members are not under obligation to seek out links of which they might not reasonably be aware, for example, links between one company and another.

Advice to the Chief Scientific Advisor

Advice from SAG to the DECC Chief Scientific Advisor: