About us

The Council for Science and Technology (CST) advises the Prime Minister on science and technology policy issues across government. The council is an expert committee, supported by a secretariat in the Government Office for Science.

Who we are

The council is co-chaired by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and an independent chair. The council has 19 further independent members. CST members are not paid, but are reimbursed for travel and subsistence costs while on CST business.

The council meets 4 times a year, in March, June, September and December. Read the meeting summaries.

The council is supported by a secretariat in the Government Office for Science.


We advise the Prime Minister on:

  • the opportunities and risks that science, technology and disruptive innovation present; using horizon scanning to highlight issues about:
    • research and science capability
    • innovation and the economy
    • health and quality of life within the UK
    • sustainable development and resilience
  • how science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) can be developed and sustained in the UK; this can be through education and skills, and the promotion of international co-operation
  • what the government’s high-level priorities for science and technology should be

History of CST

Following the 1993 White Paper ‘Realising our potential’, the Council for Science and Technology was established in November 1993 as the government’s top-level advisory body on strategic science, engineering and technology policies.

Since it was established in 1993, the Council for Science and Technology (CST) has written more than 50 reports for the Prime Minister and senior officials. These reports have covered a wide range of topics from science funding, infrastructure, achieving net zero, and scaling up innovative science and technology companies.

Some of the Council’s most high-profile impacts include:

  • Encouraging the establishment of a national institute to promote advanced research and translational work in algorithms and the application of data science. The Alan Turing Institute was eventually established in 2015.

  • The 100,000 Genomes project to help diagnose and treat over 100 rare diseases and cancers through genome sequencing, which was inspired by CST’s advice on the NHS and innovation describing developments in genome science and human genetics and the opportunity to deliver new diagnostic methods and innovative products.

  • CST proposed a review of long-term investment environment after looking into factors that help UK science and technology companies to grow. The Patient Capital review, concluded in 2017, led to the launch of the £2.5 billion British Patient Capital programme to enable long term investment in innovative UK companies. Further advice from CST in 2021 called for government to develop a sovereign scale up fund for science and technology companies. The Long-term Investment For Technology and Science (LIFTS) initiative was announced in 2023.

  • CST advice on how government could achieve net zero carbon emissions through a whole systems approach has led to the establishment of new government structures and funding designed to drive progress towards the UK’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

  • Advice on investing in R&D and the UK as a science and technology superpower helped inform the development of the Science and Technology Framework.


The Council’s current work programme includes developing advice for government on:

  • government action to support translation of engineering biology research into benefits for society
  • the role of international science and technology partnerships to achieve national goals
  • science and technology in the creative industries
  • UK Space and satellite capabilities

The Council is following up on previous 2022 advice on public procurement for national goals and access to finance for innovative companies.

Jobs and contracts

The CST secretariat is provided by GO-Science and jobs are advertised on the CS jobs website.

Members are appointed by the Prime Minister following open competition. Posts are advertised on the Public Appointments site.

Corporate information

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Jobs and contracts