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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wanted: EU chief scientist

The EU executive has yet to appoint a chief scientific advisor, almost one year after European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced plans to recruit a top scientist to offer advice on controversial issues including climate change and genetically-modified food. The post - which will come with a salary just shy of €200,000 - has not even been advertised, despite all EU commissioners having formally backed Barroso's plan to create the new position. Debate has been ongoing over the precise role of the chief scientific advisor, with some in the research sector hoping the position would be independent of political institutions, while others suggesting the scientist would merely be one of many counsellors to the Commission president. It now seems the latter scenario is more likely. EurActiv has learned that the chief scientist will be given an office in the Commission's Berlaymont building and will slot into the Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA), reporting directly to Barroso. Although the job has not been advertised and there is no immediate plan to do so, the Commission has agreed that the ideal candidate should have "appropriate professional experience of at least 15 years" and will be paid the same rate as a director-general.

Source: Euractiv