Minister Seán Sherlock said there wasn’t a huge backlash over the abolition of the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser and added “it’s a non-issue” in an interview with Science Calling.
The Minister of State for Research and Innovation asked “what is the role of the Chief Scientific Advisor?”. My response was “to advise on policy” but Minister Sherlock stated that “the Chief Scientific Advisor has nothing to do with Government policy, no more than the head of SFI does. That’s where we have to nail this lie.”
On the website of the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser it says the office was established “to provide the Government with independent, expert advice on issues related to public science policy.”
At the end of October, the Government announced that Prof Mark Ferguson, the head of the Government’s science funding agency, Science Foundation Ireland, would be taking on the role of CSA in addition to his existing role in SFI. This has become one of the biggest news story surrounding the head of SFI since his appointment in January last year.
News about this broke in newspapers across Ireland and in major international publications: Nature and Forbes. Science Calling was one of the first to write about this development and I also wrote a feature in TheJournal.ie about the reaction of scientists.
For the full interview with Minister Sherlock see: ‘Policy speak with Minister Seán Sherlock‘.
- SFI Speak: Budget, strategy & essentials
- Ireland loses independent voice on science
- The SciPol Impact Series
Images: C-S.ie logo / Science Foundation Ireland via Flickr [Photo of Minister Seán Sherlock and Prof Mark Ferguson from 2014 added retrospectively during website upgrade]
7 thoughts on “Sherlock: CSA is a non-issue”
Maria deserves an apology from the Minister. She was clearly right.
Have they changed the website since?
Yes! It seems to have been updated this morning.
Similar to your point, Maria http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/letters/2012/1212/1224327773422.html
There’s something a bit Stalinist about changing the web site to reflect something a minister said only after he’s said it…. And the concerns about the CSA’s position remain valid. I never understood why Ireland didn’t copy the UK or Scottish approach, for example http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/science/OCSA and http://www.scottishscience.org.uk/. Having an academic as CSA seems to be better governance than using an executive of a State agency
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