Angela McLean will be the UK’s new chief scientific adviser, the first woman to hold the role

Angela Mclean (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS) (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/)

Angela McLeanProfessor of Mathematical Biology at Oxford University has been appointed as the new chief scientific adviser to the government (GCSA) of the United Kingdom, the first woman to hold the position since it was created in 1964. She will take office on April 1.

McLean has been Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defense since September 2019 and a GCSA deputy during the pandemic.

“I am delighted to assume this position at such an important moment in our country for Science, Innovation and Technology. Sir Patrick (Vallance, his predecessor) will be greatly missed by all of us in government, and I look forward to working with colleagues to build on the work he has led during his time as GCSA,” he said in a statement released by the University. from Oxford.

Your role will be to provide independent scientific advice Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and members of the cabinet; advise the government on aspects of policy scientific and technological and ensure and improve the quality and use of evidence and scientific advice in government.

The GCSA holder is also Head of the Government Science and Engineering Profession and is part of the executive team of the newly formed Department of Science, Innovation and Technology.

The move from Vallance to McLean “follows on the heels of other changes in the government machine,” he told the science publication. Nature james wilsdona research policy specialist based at University College London.

Angela McLean arrives for a government meeting during the pandemic (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)
Angela McLean arrives for a government meeting during the pandemic (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls) (PETER NICHOLLS/)

Two weeks ago, the Sunak government created a new department dedicated to science and technology.

According to his academic biography on the Oxford University page, his research interests lie in the use of mathematical models to help understand the evolution and spread of infectious agents.

She is also interested in the use of evidence from the natural sciences in public policymaking and has helped develop Oxford Martin School Restatements: an activity that restructures and presents the evidence underlying an issue of policy interest or controversy. in a brief, simple and intelligible form. for non-technical audiences.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he co-chaired SPI-MO, the subgroup that prepared advice for the government using epidemiology, data analysis and mathematical modeling. In those roles, she played a substantial role in generating scientific advice to the government on handling the pandemic.

She established Mathematical Biology at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Institute for Animal Health in 1994. Prior to this, she was a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and a Research Fellow at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

In 2009, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. She received the Gabor Medal in 2011 and the Weldon Memorial Award in 2018. She received her lady title in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honors List.

Vallance welcomed his appointment, saying: “Angela brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experienceand has been an excellent departmental chief scientific adviser.”

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