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Monday, 17 December, 2001, 06:53 GMT
Scotland appoints first 'science adviser'
Science and government are expected to liase
The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has appointed Scotland's first chief science adviser, it has been announced.

Wilson Sibbett, Wardlaw Professor of Physics at the University of St Andrews, will head the Science Advisory Committee.

The committee is a panel of experts which was set up to provide independent advice across the range of policy areas where science and government meet.

The panel, established by the RSE, will help to improve the government's relationship with the science community by providing information on the scope of current work, its implications and scientific priorities.

Wendy Alexander
Wendy Alexander: Effective use of scientific expertise

Professor Sibbett said he was "delighted" with his new post.

"We intend to form a committee that will have an extensive base of knowledge and experience," he said.

"This will ensure that it will be well placed to provide independent, expert advice to the Scottish Executive on selected, scientific initiatives both in national and international contexts."

Welcoming the appointment, Enterprise Minister Wendy Alexander said: "Professor Sibbett's unimpeachable scientific credentials gives the Scottish Science Advisory Committee the stature needed to carry out its vital task."

The minister added that the executive's science strategy would help Scotland's educators, researchers, entrepreneurs and policy makers to have a tangible impact on the quality of people's lives.

'Extensive knowledge'

She said the advisory panel would play a crucial role in promoting Scotland as an international centre of science expertise.

Applications for membership of the committee will appear in the national press.

RSE president and former UK chief scientific adviser, Sir William Stewart, said: "Science and technology will play a hugely important part in Scotland in the 21st century.

"Professor Sibbett, a world expert in his field, with extensive knowledge of UK science policy, will bring his own pioneering, expert viewpoint to bear in leading the Science Advisory Committee for Scotland.

"We intend to form a committee that will have an extensive base of knowledge and experience."

See also:

27 Aug 01 | Scotland
Executive makes science centre-stage
08 Dec 00 | Scotland
Digital boost for medical research
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