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Top scientists criticise move to axe scientific adviser to European Commission

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 28 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4866
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Leading scientists are opposing a controversial call to scrap the top scientific advisory post of the European Commission, warning of an attempt to undermine its integrity.

Nine non-governmental organisations, including the environmental group Greenpeace, have protested over the role of the chief scientific adviser to the EC president, held by Anne Glover since 2012, saying that it was “fundamentally problematic, unaccountable, and intransparent.” But scientists, including the heads of the British Pharmacological Society, the European Academies’ science advisory council, and the campaigning group Sense About Science have defended Glover’s record and the “fundamental value” of the post itself in providing independent evidence to policy makers.

They said that she had given “rigorous and impartial” advice on subjects such as genetically modified crops and organisms with which the non-governmental organisations had disagreed.

Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said the role was important. He said, “There will always be those who attack the messenger because they do not like the message. But when that message is backed up by the scientific evidence, politicians should …

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