Professor Sheila Rowan was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland in June 2016.
This is a part-time position within the Scottish government. Sheila also remains Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, a position she has held since 2009. She received an MBE in 2011.
Sheila’s research is targeted at developing optical materials for use in gravitational wave detectors. Her recent work has been a crucial part of the Advanced LIGO upgrades, carried out between 2010 and 2015, that contributed to one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century: the first detection of gravitational waves announced in February 2016. This resulted in a share of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her and the members of her team in Glasgow.
Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland
The Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland is responsible for:
- providing expert scientific advice to the Scottish government about science-related issues, evidence and new developments that may have an impact on its work
- championing the use of science to inform policy development across the Scottish government
- supporting Scotland’s world-leading science base and its potential to benefit Scotland’s economy, people and environment