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expert reaction to reports of announcement of new Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Dr Patrick Vallance, head of R&D at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is to be appointed as the new Government Chief Scientific Adviser.

 

Prof. Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology, said:

“The news that Patrick Vallance has accepted the role of the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser will be welcomed by all those working in the life sciences.  Dr Vallance’s experience of academic and commercial research at the highest level provides a great foundation for our developing research base in the coming years, especially as the UK looks to develop and implement its new Life Sciences Industrial Strategy. Drug and vaccine development are key areas in which UK science currently excels, and his support to these areas will be important.

“The use of accurate scientific evidence in policy decisions is vital and Dr Vallance will provide a bridge between the scientific community and Government.  We look forward to welcoming Dr Vallance to the role and working with him to ensure not only that scientific evidence continues to be an integral part of policy decisions, but also that Government and ministers are effective in supporting and enabling the life sciences sector to grow in line with the Industrial Strategy.”

 

Dr Sheuli Porkess, Interim Executive Director of Research Medical & Innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry:

“At a time when UK science needs to come together to weather the post-Brexit landscape, Patrick Vallance’s appointment recognises the opportunity we have to here in the UK to connect world leading science with cutting edge innovation from global businesses.

“For our sector – drug discovery and research and development is increasingly shifting towards greater collaboration and more open innovation, so, Patrick’s expertise and insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by scientists and clinical researchers in both the public and private sectors will be invaluable.”

 

Prof Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“I am truly delighted by the news that one of our founder Fellows, Professor Patrick Vallance FMedSci, is set to be the next Chief Scientific Advisor. With challenges such as Brexit, the ageing population and climate change, there’s never been a more important time for Government policy to be underpinned by the best evidence. Patrick will bring a unique wealth of cross-sector experience and knowledge to the role. I extend my warmest congratulations to him and can sincerely say that we look forward to working with him in his new position.”

 

Prof Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said:

“Dr Patrick Vallance’s broad experience across both academia and industry makes him an excellent choice for the post, particularly as science and innovation sit right at the heart of the Government’s industrial strategy. The science and innovation being done in our universities, research institutions and businesses are among our greatest strengths and it vital that we capitalise on this for the future.”

 

*UPDATED COMMENT* Prof. David Webb, President of the British Pharmacological Society, said

“This will be fantastic news for UK science. Patrick has been hugely influential in scientific research and development at GSK, leading on open innovation and industry-academic partnerships, for over ten years. Before that, his work in heading up the Division of Medicine at University College London established his credentials in academic and clinical leadership. This experience, grounded in academic and medical rigour and supplemented by commercial acumen, will serve the UK exceptionally well at a time when the successful implementation of the government’s new industrial strategy is paramount.

“On a personal note, it gives me great pleasure to see a colleague, who is both a Clinical Pharmacologist and Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, contributing at the very top level of scientific strategy.”

 

These comments below were issued last week on reports of the new Government Chief Scientific Advisor:

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said:

“Patrick Vallance is an outstanding choice as the new Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser. At GSK, he showed exceptional scientific leadership and led moves towards greater openness and partnerships, recognising that the biggest societal challenges can be solved only by working together across all sectors, across borders and with society. His appointment, if confirmed, comes at a critical time for UK science and I very much look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”

 

Dr Sarah Main, Executive Director of CaSE, said:

“It’s important that the Government Chief Scientific Adviser is independent of government, able to operate with impact in government, and able to connect with the research community. The new GCSA will be able to harness the power of the UK’s research community to help government establish new trading and scientific relationships with the world during and beyond Brexit, so we look forward to a formal announcement soon.”

 

Commenting on reports that Dr Patrick Vallance is to take up the position of Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor David Webb, President of the British Pharmacological Society, said

“Assuming these reports are correct, this will be fantastic news for UK science. Patrick has been hugely influential in scientific research and development at GSK, leading on open innovation and industry-academic partnerships, for over ten years. Before that, his work in heading up the Division of Medicine at University College London established his credentials in academic and clinical leadership. This experience, grounded in academic and medical rigour and supplemented by commercial acumen, will serve the UK exceptionally well at a time when the successful implementation of the government’s new industrial strategy is paramount.

“On a personal note, it gives me great pleasure to see a colleague, who is both a Clinical Pharmacologist and Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, contributing at the very top level of scientific strategy.”

 

Mr Hetan Shah, Executive Director, The Royal Statistical Society (RSS), said:

“Given we are now living in a data-centric society and economy, this is a good appointment. Patrick brings a good understanding of the importance of the UK’s data assets and the need to develop our talent for analysing data.”

 

*https://www.ft.com/content/ee76ebfc-bf27-11e7-9836-b25f8adaa111

 

Declared interests

None received.

 

 

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