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Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the Royal Society of Biology has expressed concern over the initial lack of women on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, after a membership of eight men was announced.

The letter, sent to Norman Lamb and the Chief Whips, highlighted the need for inclusion and balanced representation on Select Committees. It also stressed the need to ensure membership with science as well as non-science backgrounds.

The RSB commended the Chair’s identification of points in the process where imbalances could be addressed, as well as to ensure female representation on the House of Commons Select Committee.  The letter also highlighted the need for Committee formation to reflect the objectives of Parliament’s own Diversity Policy.

Norman Lamb MP, current chair of the committee, expressed his own concern to the Chief Whips over the lack of female representation and the need to review the way in which MPs are nominated.

The first of the three remaining vacancies on the Committee has since been filled by Vicky Ford MP who Tweeted news of her election on Wednesday. Two places now remain, Lamb had stressed that efforts should be made to ensure women are elected.