Director General for Science and Analysis and Defra Chief Scientific Adviser

Professor Gideon Henderson


Professor Gideon Henderson was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 1 October 2019. He is also Director General for Science and Analysis.

He is responsible for overseeing the quality of evidence that the Department relies on for policy decisions. He also provides ministers with scientific advice and sets the priorities for scientific research and evidence-gathering.

He has been Professor of Earth Sciences at the Department of Earth Sciences in the University of Oxford since 2006.

He has also jointly held positions as Senior Research Fellow at University College, Oxford since 2012 and as Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University since 1999.

His awards include the 30th Annual Plymouth Marine Science Medal 2016, European Union of Geosciences outstanding young scientist award in 2001, and the Leverhulme Prize Fellowship in 2001. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).

Director General for Science and Analysis

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Defra Chief Scientific Adviser

The Chief Scientific Advisor for Defra:

  • provides Ministerial advice on evidence base to support policy decisions
  • ensures quality and fit-for-purpose science
  • raises the profile of Defra science and manage interface with the public

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs