What is Independent SAGE?
Independent SAGE is a group of scientists who are working together to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public on how to minimise deaths and support Britain’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis
Who’s in charge?
Sir David King, the former chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government, chairs the group and oversees its reports.
Is it officially recognised?
No. Independent SAGE is independent of government and does not answer to it. It does however share its work openly with the government as well as with the public.
Are the scientists paid?
No. All the scientists involved are doing this as unpaid voluntary work. They are all committing hours of their time every week to discuss the science, explain it to and discuss it with the public and produce reports. They are putting advice into the public domain because they believe the public needs to understand the science surrounding COVID-19 and the thinking that underpins the government’s strategy.
Is Independent SAGE a modelling group?
No. Independent SAGE does not commit to – or engage in – any particular modelling initiative. We occasionally draw on mathematical models from a variety of sources where relevant to a report. Most often these will be from the government’s SAGE modelling subgroup (Spi-M).
What about Independent SAGE’s other activities?
A small support team has been helping Independent SAGE with its public events and media activities. They have been organised by The Citizens. Academic members of Indie SAGE have provided a small grant to support this work.
What has it done so far?
Since the first meeting on May 4, Independent SAGE has produced more than 30 reports, hosted multiple public engagement events and answered questions relating to the science, from the public, journalists and broadcasters across a whole range of topics.
How does Independent SAGE engage with the public?
Independent SAGE was founded with the intention of putting scientific facts and debate into the public domain. We believe openness and transparency leads to better understanding and better decision making. We also believe it the responsibility of scientists and those with specialist knowledge to engage with the public and policy makers, in order to ensure that science benefits all of society.