Press release

New Government Chief Scientific Adviser

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

The Cabinet Secretary is pleased to announce the appointment of Sir Mark Walport as the government's new Chief Scientific Adviser.

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, is pleased to announce the appointment of Sir Mark Walport as the government’s new Chief Scientific Adviser. Sir Mark, who is currently the Director at the Wellcome Trust, was chosen following an open competition. He will take up post on 1 April 2013 once the government’s current Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir John Beddington, completes his term of appointment. The appointment has been approved by the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood said:

This is an excellent appointment for the Civil Service in an important area of government business. Mark Walport has already advised the government on several occasions in his capacity as a member of the Council for Science and Technology so he is well placed to continue to offer the best scientific advice available to the Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet. I am also looking forward to the contribution Mark will make in leading the science community across government, building on the great work of Sir John Beddington, his predecessor. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank John for the invaluable contribution he has made to policy development and strengthening the work of the science community across Whitehall.

Commenting on his new role, Sir Mark said:

I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as the Government Chief Scientific Advisor. Science, engineering and technology have transformed the infrastructure of the modern world, and have a vital role to play at the heart of policy making. They are critical both to economic recovery and growth, and to addressing many of the greatest challenges of our time, such as environmental change and the ageing population. I look forward to working with colleagues both inside and outside government to ensure that the best possible advice can be provided from the most expert sources, based on the strongest evidence, to facilitate the wisest possible policy decisions.

Notes to editors

Mark Walport is Director of the Wellcome Trust, which is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds. Before joining the Trust he was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London.

He has been a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology since 2004. He is also a member of the India UK CEO Forum, the UK India Round Table and the advisory board of Infrastructure UK and a non-executive member of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research. He is a member of a number of international advisory bodies.

He has undertaken independent reviews for the UK government on the use and sharing of personal information in the public and private sectors: ‘Data Sharing Review’ (2009) and secondary education, ‘Science and Mathematics: Secondary Education for the 21st Century’ (2010). He is co-chairing one of the Prime Minister’s ‘Champion Groups’ on dementia, looking at research.

He received a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to medical research and was elected as Fellow of The Royal Society in 2011.