For those outside the Westminster circle, the political machinery behind national politics remains an impenetrable mystery. There is much chicanery surrounding the decision-making process, which often has an impact on policy. You can ask, for example, how evidence is used and whether it is really taken into account. One more minor mystery for many has been the decision to remove me as Chair of the Science and Technology committee. And so, at the request of the Executive Editor of this publication and at the risk of sounding egotistical or, as one reader of the journal Science and Public Affairs indirectly put it, a ‘whinger’, I will attempt to unravel the mysteries that were at work when the chairmanships of the committees were decided, and by so doing, examine the tenuous relationship between politics and science.

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