European & International News

European Commission appoints woman as first ever scientific advisor

[Brussels, 14 December 2011] The European Commission has appointed Anne Glover from the UK as its first ever scientific advisor. Ms. Glover’s task will be to provide high-level, independent, scientific advice to the Commission throughout the policy process. The EWL is pleased to see a woman appointed to this prominent position, in particular as women are severely under-represented in key decision-making positions in the sector areas of research, science and innovation. According to EU figures cited in the EWL’s Beijing+15 Report, only 8.3% of patents awarded by the European Patent Office are given to women and only 5-15% of high-tech business is owned by women. In science and research, the proportion of women graduates at PhD level is growing slowly (from 42% to 45% between 2002 and 2006); however, women attained just 20% of grade A academic positions in 2007 (up from 17% in 2002).

More generally, although some 60% of all tertiary graduates are female, women represent only 20% of graduates in science, mathematics and computing. The European Commission, together with private business partners, has also this week launched an EU-wide programme, worth €8.3m, to encourage more young people to study sciences at university.

EU commission appoints first ever chief scientific adviser Bookmark and Share

By Martin Banks - 13th December 2011

The European commission has appointed a British woman its first ever chief scientific adviser.

Anne Glover is currently a biochemist at the University of Aberdeen and has been serving as Scotland’s chief scientific adviser since 2006.

Her primary responsibility as EU chief scientific advisor will be to provide high-level, independent, scientific advice to the commission throughout the policy process.

She will report directly to commission president José Manuel Barroso and will be supported by the Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA).

The appointment has been broadly welcomed with Ragnar Löfstedt, professor of risk management and director of the King’s Centre for risk management in London, saying, "I am delighted at Anne Glover’s new role.

"It presents an opportunity for scientific scrutiny at the European level and will boost the role of science based policy-making.

"This marks a fundamental review of the way in which European institutions access and use science."

He added, "I look forward to seeing a European culture of science, technology and innovation strengthened at the EU level and enhanced public confidence in science and technology."

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