Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Evidence-based policy

Role of chief scientific adviser at European Commission scrapped

The job ceased to exist at the end of October 2014 when José Manuel Barroso’s term of office as EU commissioner came to an end.

The role of chief scientific adviser of the European Commission, formerly held by Anne Glover, has been scrapped

Source: Friend of Europe / Wikimedia Commons

Anne Glover held the role of chief scientific adviser to the European Commission since it was created in 2012

The role of the chief scientific adviser at the European Commission has been scrapped.

The job — which was held by former chief scientific adviser to Scotland Anne Glover — ceased to exist at the end of October 2014 when the term of office of the then European Union commissioner José Manuel Barroso came to an end.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s chief scientist Jayne Lawrence described the discontinuation of the post as deeply disappointing. “The provision of independent, expert, evidence-based advice on science is essential to effective, informed decision-making,” she says. “This outcome is damaging to the place of such advice in Europe.”

His successor Jean-Claude Juncker has yet to decide how that advice will be delivered to the European Commission in future.

Glover’s departure follows a row earlier this year over the future of the role, which was described as unaccountable, un-transparent and controversial by nine environmental groups and non-government agencies, including Greenpeace.

They wrote to Juncker in July 2014 urging him to scrap the post after Glover spoke out in favour of genetically modified crops – a view they said was at odds with the opinion of other scientists.

The letter triggered a backlash from other European scientists who asked Juncker to maintain the post.

A spokesperson for the European Commission says the position of chief scientific officer automatically came to an end when Barroso’s term finished because he had created the role during his period in office.

“President Juncker believes in independent scientific advice,” she says. “He has not yet decided how to institutionalise this independent scientific advice. Unless President Juncker decides to re-introduce the post of chief scientific adviser, there is no replacement. Such a decision has not been taken at this stage.”

Glover held the role since it was created in 2012 in order to strengthen scientific advice and evidence-based policy in Europe. She is due to leave the European Commission at the end of January 2015 and until then she will work in the European Political Strategy Centre.



Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20067189

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Complete Guide to Medical Writing (The)

    Complete Guide to Medical Writing (The)

    Effectively communicate scientific and medical information with The Complete Guide to Medical Writing.

    £27.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    This unique textbook covers the role of basic pharmaceutics in clinical outcomes and in explaining the behaviour of medicines in the body.

    £27.00Buy now
  • Health Economics

    Health Economics

    Health Economics is a practical analysis of the prominent economic issues facing the American health care system, and what mechanisms exist to counter it.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Nutraceuticals


    This authoritative text assesses the medical and scientific evidence for the use of nutraceuticals. Includes monographs on 25 nutraceuticals such as soy and tea.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.