Related Links

For further information, please contact:
Andrew McLaughlin
University Press Office
01225 386 883
07966 341 357

» submit an item · an event

Simon Davies

Press Release - 08 September 2006

ID card debate breaks out in Bath to launch city’s first Science Café

The expert at the heart of a Government row over the introduction of ID cards will be giving a talk in a Bath pub next week to launch the city’s first Science Café (Monday 11 September 2006, 7.30-10.00pm).

Simon Davies, an academic from the London School of Economics (LSE), made the headlines in May 2005 for his role in a report which found that the Government’s proposed ID card scheme would cost £300 per person, rather than the £93 claimed by ministers.

Mr Davies, one of 14 academics involved in the report, was denounced by then Home Secretary Charles Clarke as being a "partisan" academic.

However, Director of the LSE, Sir Howard Davies (no relation), staunchly defended the LSE researchers who between them consulted more than 100 industry representatives as part of their research.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Howard defended Mr Davies, who also heads civil liberty pressure group Privacy International, saying: "I would question the assumption that an interest in civil liberty necessarily means that one is biased when producing an estimate of costs.

“The research and the resulting reports were attempts, in good faith, to produce realistic and independent assessments of the costs of the Government's proposals. I would hope the Government could deal with it on that basis."

Dr Melissa Spielman who works at the University of Bath and helps organise the Science Café events said: “We are delighted to have a scientist who is playing such a prominent role in the ongoing ID card debate giving Bath’s first Science Café talk.

“Monday will be the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The prevention of events like this is one of the key reasons given for the introduction of ID cards to the UK, so it seems timely to invite Simon to Bath to talk about his research and how it contributes to the UK's ID card debate.”

The Science of ID Cards event is Bath’s first ever Science Café – an ongoing series of monthly events where some of the country’s leading scientists will talk informally about their research over a pint.

The event will be held in The Raven pub in Queen Street, no tickets or reservations are required—just turn up at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start.

Organisers will ask for a small voluntary donation to cover travel costs for the speakers. Other Bath Science Café events already planned include:

To register for email alerts on forthcoming Science Café events, contact Melissa Spielman

More information is available from the Bath Science Café website (see related links).

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: