The European Commission has asked a trio of scouts to help fill the void left by the former Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), a role that the commission controversially removed from its organigram when it took office in November. The three will be tasked with finding suitable scientists for a seven-strong “high level group” of advisers, one of the key elements of the commission's new science advice system.
Research commissioner Carlos Moedas will formally announce their names on Monday and meet them for lunch. The trio consists of David King, a chemist and a former British CSA; Rianne Letschert, a law professor at the International Victimology Institute Tilburg in the Netherlands; and António Vitorino, the president of the Jacques Delors Institute, a European policy think tank.
“The identification committee strikes me as sensibly balanced,” but its job will not be easy, says James Wilsdon, a science policy specialist at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. The committee will have to find the “right mix” of people who will “between them need to reflect Europe's geographical and disciplinary diversity, command the respect of their peers, and be skilled in navigating the often treacherous terrain that lies between science, policy and politics,” Wilsdon tells ScienceInsider in an email.