073/2012 - Ministry of Defence appoints new Chief Scientific Adviser

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Ministry of Defence has appointed a new Chief Scientific Adviser to oversee its science and technology programme, to ensure battle-winning technology across Defence.

Professor Vernon Gibson replaces the outgoing Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir Mark Welland, who returns to Cambridge University to take up an academic post.

He will join the Department on 2 July, following a distinguished career as an academic researcher and a period in the commercial sector as one of BP’s Chief Scientists.

Professor Gibson said:

I am tremendously honoured and privileged to be joining the Ministry of Defence as its Chief Scientific Adviser. I’m looking forward to addressing the science and technology challenges that will help shape the capability of our Armed Forces in the 21st Century.

The Ministry of Defence’s outgoing Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir Mark Welland, said:

The post of Chief Scientific Adviser is extraordinarily attractive and extremely influential, both within the Department and beyond. The post has existed since the 1960s, so there is a long track record of scientific development within the Ministry of Defence.

The Science and Technology community across Defence has continued to support the front-line and addressed current and future technological challenges. I am sure that this support will continue at pace under Professor Gibson.

Professor Sir John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, said:

The appointment of Vernon Gibson as Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Defence is excellent news for the Government and for the UK. As former Chief Scientist at BP his distinguished academic career alongside extensive industry experience will be invaluable to Ministry of Defence itself, as well as further strengthening the network of Chief Scientific Advisers across government.

Expert scientific advice is critical to good policy making and I am delighted to welcome someone with Vernon’s expertise to the fold. I look forward to working with him.

Notes to editors

For further information contact Sonia Marshall in the MOD Press Office on 0207 218 5903.

Before joining BP in 2008, Professor Vernon Gibson held the Sir Edward Frankland Chair of Inorganic Chemistry at Imperial College London from 2001 to 2008 and was a personal Chair of Chemistry at the University of Durham from 1993 to 1995.

Professor Gibson trained at both Sheffield (BSc) and Oxford (DPhil) University and spent two years as a NATO post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2004 and was awarded an honorary DSc from the University of Sheffield in 2010.