Again, UK readers should feel free to move along, as there’s likely nothing you haven’t already read on the latest cabinet postings.
New UK Prime Minister Theresa May continues to appoint members of Parliament to her cabinet. On Friday I noted the reorganization of the department formerly known as Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the appointment of MP Greg Clark to head the new Department of Business, Energy, and Investment Strategy. Now we know the fate of the two ministers with responsibilities for science in the previous cabinet of former Prime Minister Cameron.
Jo Johnson has been reappointed to serve as Minister for Universities and Science. However, the universities portfolio has been shifted from the former BIS to the Department of Education. So Johnson will answer to two departments. That’s not unheard of for a junior minister, but apparently it is unusual. MP George Freeman, who had served as a minister for life sciences, was responsible to ministers at both BIS and the Department of Health. He is no longer, having been asked by the Prime Minister to head her policy board. I think this is an entity separate from the Number 10 Policy Unit, but I may be wrong on this point.
It is also worth noting that MP Nicola Blackwood has been named a minister in the Department of Health. As a result, she will have to step down as chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology. Hopefully that means at most a pause in the inquiry that committee is conducting on the impact of leaving the European Union on U.K. science and technology.