- Phil Noble/Reuters
Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee has been criticised for failing to appoint any women to its new cohort of members.
The eight-strong, all-male committee was announced on Tuesday on Twitter and people immediately started highlighting its lack of diversity or scientific credentials. Three more members are still to be added.
Only two of the eight men have science degrees, according to York University academic Professor Dave Smith. There are 10 female MPs with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and maths, Smith claims.
“Good to see you’ve gone with the fully diverse package of both young AND old, white men,” wrote Twitter user John Ottaway, who describes himself as a science geek in his Twitter profile.
Another Twitter user by the name of Tarjinder wrote: “I’m more concerned about the level of expertise in science/tech as that will have an impact on decisions made.”
— Sci & Tech Committee (@CommonsSTC) September 12, 2017
The Science and Technology Committee is tasked with making sure the UK government makes policy changes and decisions based on solid scientific evidence and advice.
Good to see you've gone with the fully diverse package of both young AND old, white men ????
— John Ottaway (@JohnOttaway) September 12, 2017
I'm more concerned about the level of expertise in science/tech as that will have an impact on decisions made.
— Tarjinder (@teach_well) September 12, 2017
No women, two scientists. Great work – you're fully in touch aren't you? No wonder the lunatic fringes of politics are winning, fools.
— David Strover (@The_Strovinator) September 12, 2017
— Prof Debra Humphris (@debrahumphris) September 12, 2017
MPs confirmed as new members on Tuesday include Norman Lamb, Bill Grant, Darren Jones, Clive Lewis, Stephen Metcalfe, Neil O’Brien, Graham Stringer, and Martin Whitfield.
The UK government is actively trying to encourage more girls and young women to study science, technology, engineering, and maths before going on to pursue a career that requires these subjects.
A spokesperson for the committee told Business Insider that each political party puts forward their own members through “well established processes”, adding “the Committee does not appoint its own members.”
They added that there are still three more people to be appointed to the committee and that some of the new members have raised concerns about the lack of diversity at present.
UPDATE: Conservative MP and committee member Stephen Metcalfe announced on Twitter on Wednesday that the Conservative party had elected Vicky Ford to the committe.
— Stephen Metcalfe (@Metcalfe_SBET) September 13, 2017