EU Chief Scientific Adviser

The Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) - the European network of medical academies, of which the Academy of Medical Sciences is a member, has written to the new President of the European Commission to urge him to retain the role of EU Chief Scientific Adviser.

The Chief Scientific Adviser is appointed by the Commission President and the position is currently held by Professor Anne Glover CBE FRSE. The letter from five pan-European networks notes that the role is an 'indispensable element' of ensuring that scientific evidence informs EU policy. It encourages the incoming President, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, to maintain this role, which will 'provide valuable evidence-based advice to [Mr Juncker] and the Commission that meets the standard of independence, excellence and transparency'.

Science and technology play an increasingly important role in the EU. The Horizon 2020 programme will see the EU contribute nearly 80 billion euros over the seven year period to ensure that the EU remains a world leader in  science. Many of the EU’s efforts to harmonise policy approaches in areas such as clinical trials and data protection could strengthen medical research across Europe. However, developing such legislation also brings risks of inadvertently having a negative impact on research, which must be carefully considered. Direct input from scientists can help strike a balance between providing appropriate safeguards and strengthening research across Europe. The CSA can play an extremely valuable role in seeking and coordinating such input.

Findings from scientific research can be hugely valuable in tackling current and future international challenges, which are likely to require discussion at a European level. For example, tackling pandemics and addressing the challenges presented by growing levels of antimicrobial resistance. Scientific expertise will be essential to informing evidence-based policy decisions.  Relevant expertise exists across European member states and must be incorporated in discussions, and a CSA will be extremely valuable in coordinating this input.

The letter was sent by five European networks that represent academies of science, medical science, engineering, social sciences and humanities from across Europe: FEAM, Academia Europaea; ALLEA; EASAC, Euro-CASE.

The letter is available to download on the right.

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