Finnegan's Take

Wanted: EU chief scientist

It’s almost a year since Barroso told the European Parliament he would appoint an EU Chief Scientific Advisor but, so far, the €200,000 a year post has not even been advertised.

It now seems certain that the chief scientist role will be a little less exciting than might have been hoped.

Some had notions of a powerful US-style science tzar or the kind of highly-visible and quasi-independent chief scientific advisors that have been prominent in the UK.

But, instead of popping up on TV to demystify genetics or quash irrational cancer scares as some had hoped, it seems the EU’s chief scientist will be embedded in the low-key Bureau of Economic Policy Advisers with an office in the anonymous halls of the Berlaymont building in Brussels.

Still, for €16k a month, a low profile and limited accountability for decisions on controversial decisions…it sounds like a good deal. Dust of your CV if you have 15 years of experience in science and don’t might overcast weather in the August.

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