Despite strong support from scientific bodies, Prof Anne Glover’s mandate expired at the end of the Barroso presidency – and incoming president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has decided to formally close the Bureau of European Policy Advisers which included the CSA.The axing of the job drew the ire of British scientists in particular.
Scientific advice must be central to EU policy making, otherwise you run the risk of having important decisions being unduly influenced by those with mixed motives,” said Prof Sir Paul Nurse, from the Royal Society.
These sentiments were widely echoed, with researchers calling it “a sad day for science”.
“I am appalled at the abolition of the CSA post,” said Prof Nigel Brown, president of the Society for General Microbiology.
“Many of the major challenges facing Europe – climate change, food security, healthy ageing, disease control – require scientific input to policy at the very highest level. This is disastrously short-sighted.”
Science Media Centre UK has a summary of reactions to the sacking of Glover and abolishment of the position here.
Journalist and environmentalist Mark Lynas has his take on the axing here.
Some British members of the European Parliament were angry about the closing of the post, when they believed they had received assurances from the incoming President that the role would be preserved.
“I am deeply disappointed by this news. I wait to hear the details but on the face of it this looks like a complete volte face by Mr Juncker,” said Julie Girling, Conservative MEP for South West England and Gibraltar. “I fear Mr Juncker has caved in to the green lobby.”
Environmental groups though were keen to stress that the closing of the post wasn’t a victory for them. They argue that the EU already has a formal system in place gathering evidence and assessing risks. They believe the CSA role distorted the process.
Read full, original article: Researchers ‘appalled’ as EU chief scientist role is axed