Zuckerman Archive: Central Advisory Council for Science and Technology

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Major concerns of the Council were: R&D, productivity, and innovation; the organisation of government research, the research councils and the national laboratories; and the supply and training of scientific personnel and the Brain Drain (Dr Jones was the author of The Brain Drain, HMSO, 1967, Cmnd 3417). Other subjects that it considered included: international relations in science and technology and the Aigran report on scientific and technical co-operation in Europe; space research; comparative levels of taxation in different countries; the European 300 GeV particle accelerator project; national priorities in science and technology; the machine tools and instruments industries; marine science; proposals for an international organisation to study the major problems of advanced (i.e. industrialised) societies; and environmental pollution.

In 1968 the Council published a report Technological innovation in Britain, the drafting of which is the subject of File SZ/CACST/3. In the same year it commissioned Christopher Layton of Political and Economic Planning (PEP) to conduct a study into the reasons why Britain appeared to be obtaining a poor return from its large investment in qualified scientists and engineers. Layton's report was later published as Ten innovations: an international study on technological development and the rise of qualified scientists and engineers in ten industries, London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1972.

Correspondence relating to the CACST is also to be found in files in Series SZ/CSA.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Central Advisory Council for Science and Technology was a Cabinet-level body established in January 1967 to Advise the Government on the most effective national strategy for the use and development of our scientific and technological resources [terms of reference, AC(67)1] and to avoid an institutional split between science and technology [Philip Gummett Scientists in Whitehall, Manchester University Press, 1980] consequent upon the formation of the Department of Education and Science's Council for Scientific Policy (CSP) and the Ministry of Technology's Advisory Council on Technology. The Council was free to set up ad hoc working parties as it saw fit. While the membership was drawn from the two Advisory Councils, members were appointed in a personal capacity and not as representatives of departmental or other interests.

The Council was chaired by Solly Zuckerman, the Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government, throughout its existence. The founder members were Sir Eric Ashby, Professor P.M.S. Blackett, Dr Alan Cottrell, Frank Cousins (who also chaired the Advisory Council on Technology), Sir Harrie Massey (Chairman of the Council for Scientific Policy), Dr Fred Dainton, Dr E.F. Jones (of Mullard, and the Committee on Manpower Resources for Science and Technology), Professor A.B. Pippard, Sir Hugh Tett, Professor Bruce Williams, and R.D. Young (of Alfred Herbert Ltd). In 1969 Sir Frank Kearton, Professor R.C.O. Matthews, Sir Michael Perrin, Dr Larry Rotherham and Lord Rothschild were appointed to the Council, replacing Pippard, Tett and Williams. In 1970 Ashby, Cousins and Massey were replaced by G.B.R. Feilden, Sir Alastair Pilkington, Len Murray (of the TUC), and Professor William Paton.

Just as the General Election of 1964 saw the demise of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy (ACSP), so that of 1970 brought to an end the short life of the CACST.


  • File SZ/CACST/1 covers meetings of the Council between 26 January 1967 and 24 June 1970
  • File SZ/CACST/2 contains documents AC(67)1-39, AC(68)1, AC(68)3-38, AC(69)1-23, AC(69)27-53, and AC(70)1-27

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.



Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.

Related Material