Coronavirus: SAGE membership revealed after criticism over transparency | UK News

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The membership of the UK government’s scientific advisory group guiding coronavirus policy has been revealed after a list was published online.

Having previously refused to release the names of those on the scientific advisory group for emergencies (SAGE), the government has done so after weeks of pressure over a perceived lack of transparency around their meetings and recommendations.

Two members of the group have not given permission for their names to be revealed.

Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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Despite having attended meetings, Dominic Cummings’ name does not feature on the list

Number 10 had faced criticism when it emerged that Boris Johnson‘s chief political adviser, Dominic Cummings, had attended meetings of the group, although his name does not feature on the list.

Critics had claimed his presence risked allowing political concerns to dictate coronavirus policy, rather than scientific evidence.

Science and technology committee chair Greg Clark welcomed the publication, which came alongside an “explainer” of SAGE.

“I strongly welcome the commitment to transparency made by SAGE in publishing the names of the members,” the Conservative MP said.

“This was something my committee called for in order to provide public reassurance that government decisions are informed by a broad and substantial body of expert advice.”

Concerns around transparency had prompted former government chief scientific adviser Sir David King to convene a separate “independent” panel of experts who were due to meet on Monday.

Professor David Salisbury, who oversaw vaccination policy during the swine flu pandemic a decade ago and attended SAGE meetings, had told Sky News the government’s withholding of the names meant people were unable to judge their actions.

David Davis says Dominic Cummings should not be at SAGE meetings

“Why should we not know?” he said.

“The answer that we are protecting their privacy is no longer a realistic one.

“My name is in the phone book. Why do we want such secrecy that we don’t know who is helping to shape these decisions that are affecting our lives so intrusively?”

Those named on the list are:

Sir Patrick Vallance FMedSci FRS – Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Professor Chris Whitty CB FMedSci – Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health and Social Care

Professor John Aston – Chief Scientific Adviser, Home Office

Professor Wendy Barclay FMedSci – Imperial College London

Professor Phil Blythe – Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Transport

Professor Ian Boyd FRS – University of St Andrews

Professor Andrew Curran – Chief Scientific Adviser, Health and Safety Executive

Dr Gavin Debrera – Public Health England

Professor Sir Ian Diamond FRSE FBA – National Statistician, Office for National Statistics

Professor Yvonne Doyle CB – Medical Director, Public Health England

Professor John Edmunds OBE FMedSci – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar FMedSci – FRS Director, Wellcome Trust

Professor Neil Ferguson OBE FMedSci – Imperial College London

Dr Aidan Fowler FRCS – National Health Service England

Professor Julia Gog – University of Cambridge

Dr David Halpern – Behavioural Insights Team, Cabinet Office

Dr Jenny Harries OBE – Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Dr Demis Hassabis FRS – Personal capacity as a data scientist

Professor Peter Horby – University of Oxford

Dr Indra Joshi – NHSx

Professor Dame Theresa Marteau FMedSci – University of Cambridge

Professor Dame Angela McLean FRS – Chief Scientific Adviser, Ministry of DefenceProfessor Graham Medley – London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Professor Andrew Morris FMedSci FRSE – University of Edinburgh

Professor Carole Mundell – Chief Scientific Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Professor Cath Noakes – University of Leeds

Dr Rob Orford – Welsh Government

Professor Michael Parker – University of Oxford

Professor Sharon Peacock FMedSci – Public Health England

Professor Alan Penn – Chief Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Professor Steve Powis FRCP – National Health Service England

Dr Mike Prentice – National Health Service England

Mr Osama Rahman – Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Education

Professor Venki Ramakrishnan PRS – Ex Officio as Chair of DELVE, convened by the Royal Society

The shadow health secretary says 'we need to be treated like grown-ups' over what input Dominic Cummings has in SAGE meetings

Professor Andrew Rambaut FRSE – University of Edinburgh

Professor Tom Rodden – Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Professor Brooke Rogers OBE – Kings College London

Dr James Rubin – Kings College London

Professor Calum Semple – University of Liverpool

Dr Mike Short CBE – Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Trade

Dr Gregor Smith – Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer

Professor Sir David Spieglhalter FRS – University of Cambridge

Professor Jonathan Van Tam MBE – Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Professor Russell Viner PRCPCH – University College London

Professor Charlotte Watts CMG FMedSci – Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Development

Professor Mark Walport FRCP FMedSci – FRS UK Research and Innovation

Professor Mark Woolhouse FRSE – University of Edinburgh

Professor Lucy Yardley – University of Bristol

Professor Ian Young – Northern Ireland Executive

Professor Maria Zambon FMedSci – Public Health England

Burley and Hancock

This week Kay Burley will be hosting a live Q&A with Health Secretary Matt Hancock. You can put your questions to Mr Hancock about the coronavirus and its impact on your life live on Sky News.

Email us your questions – or you can record a video clip of your question on your phone – and send it to AskTheHealthSecretary@sky.uk

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