NGOs call for Europe's chief scientific adviser post to be scrapped


Jean-Claude Juncker will become president of the commission in November © WU WEI/LANDOV/Press Association Images

A group of nine non-governmental organisations including Greenpeace, the Cancer Prevention and Education Society and the Pesticide Action Network, have called on the president-elect of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to scrap the position of chief scientific adviser.

In an open letter, the organisations – consisting mainly of environmental advocacy groups – criticised the role as ‘unaccountable, intransparent and controversial’, and said the commission’s current chief scientific adviser, Anne Glover, had expressed ‘one-sided, partial’ opinions on the use of genetically modified organisms to the media.

‘The post of chief scientific adviser is fundamentally problematic as it concentrates too much influence in one person, and undermines in-depth scientific research and assessments,’ they wrote. ‘We hope that you as the incoming commission president will decide not to nominate a chief scientific adviser and that instead the commission will take its advice from a variety of independent, multi-disciplinary sources, with a focus on public interest.’

However, while on the election trail Juncker said that if he selected he would keep the post. He made the pledge in response to a question from Julie Girling, a UK MEP.

Glover was appointed as the first commission chief scientific adviser in 2012 to provide guidance on science policy to president José Manuel Barroso. She recently announced plans to improve collaborations between government science advisers across Europe.


Related Content

European commission scraps chief scientific adviser post, dismaying scientists

14 November 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Top scientists line up to express disappointment as advisory role is abolished after just three years

Confusion over Europe's chief scientific adviser post

20 January 2015 News and Analysis

news image

Commission says adviser role will still be scrapped despite UK MEP claims

Most Read

Graphene sandwich turns water square

27 March 2015 Research

news image

Water trapped between graphene sheets transformed into new type of ice

Simple cooking changes make healthier rice

23 March 2015 Research

news image

Adding oil to water, cooling and reheating rice makes fibre-like resistant starch, reducing calories

Most Commented

Sewage offers attractive source of precious metals

27 March 2015 Research

news image

US Geological Survey team finds valuable metals in treated sewage and is working on the difficult problem of extraction

Fractal first as molecules form Sierpinski triangles

30 March 2015 Research

news image

Scientists have produced a repeating triangular pattern through molecular self-assembly