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 ScienceCalling.
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‘.
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