The Chief Scientist in Israel´s Government Ministries
Conference Held on June 10,
Many of the areas of responsibility of government ministries have a bearing on research and development. Ten Chief Scientists are responsible today for R&D activities in the ministries. Government ministries differ in their definition of the role of chief scientists; but all the latter function as the focus of scientific activity in their offices.
The concept ´´Chief Scientist of a Government Ministry´´ was coined for the first time in Israel in the late 1960s. We shall try to assess here their mode of operation, contributions and effectiveness in their offices. We shall also re-examine the role-definition of chief scientists, methods for their appointment, and additional means that may be provided to them in order to carry out their duties.
Main issues discussed at the conference:
1. Coordination between the government offices in R&D activities is necessary in order that the use of resources be effective and results improved.
2. A proposal to establish a coordinating body to examine and oversee R&D activities. This body will have top responsibility for all R&D policies in Israel, including the work of the Chief Scientists.
3. The National Council for Research and Development will be an independent statutory body under the Prime Minister and his office.
4. Action toward accelerating the passage of the Law for the National Council for Research and Development, in coordination with relevant factors, including the Chief Scientists.
To establish a committee to examine government research, including its organization and operation (such an examination was last carried out by the Yiftah Committee in 1984).
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