MOD Chief Scientific Adviser

Professor Vernon Gibson

Professor Vernon Gibson



Professor Vernon Gibson was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser at the MOD in 2012.

Vernon received his Bachelors degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield followed by a doctorate from the University of Oxford. Following two years as a NATO post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology he returned to the UK to a lectureship at Durham University and was promoted directly to a full Professorship there in 1992.

In 1995 he moved to Imperial College London where he held the Sir Edward Frankland Chair of Inorganic Chemistry. He has received numerous national and international awards and was elected to the Royal Society in 2004.

Before joining MOD, Vernon held the post of Chief Chemist at BP, a role in which he provided leadership to BP’s large technology community and advice to the company on science and technology matters. His remit spanned oil and gas exploration and production, downstream refining and petrochemicals, and the company’s alternative energy businesses.

An important part of his role was to maintain connections with world class research through major academic and industrial partners across the globe.

MOD Chief Scientific Adviser

The Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) is the MOD’s principal adviser on science and technology. The CSA reports to the Permanent Secretary, is a member of the Defence Council and the Investment Approvals Committee and is Deputy Chair of the Defence Research and Development Board.


The MOD Chief Scientific Adviser is responsible for:

  • ownership of the MOD’s science and technology programme which keeps the Armed Forces at the cutting edge of new technological developments
  • heading the Defence Science and Technology area in Head Office
  • advising ministers and senior officials on science and engineering matters
  • international strategic science and technology collaboration
  • working with the wider community of Chief Scientific Advisers on cross departmental matters