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1000 days in the life of a science advisor

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1000 days in the life of a science advisor

  1. 1. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 1000 days in the life of a Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Anne Glover CBE Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission
  2. 2. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 "We also need a funda-mental review of the way European institutions access and use scientific advice. In the next Commission, I want to set up a Chief Scientific Adviser who has the power to deliver proactive, scientific advice throughout all stages of policy development and delivery. This will reflect the central importance I attach to research and innovation.“ - José Manuel Barroso, 15 September 2009
  3. 3. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The functions of the Chief Scientific Advisor will be as follows: • To provide independent expert advice on any aspect of science, technology and innovation as requested by the President; • […] to provide analysis and opinion on major policy proposals being submitted to the College touching upon issues of science, technology and innovation; • […] to provide authoritative guidance on interpretation of scientific evidence in presence of uncertainty; • […] to be involved in strategic emergency planning; • To build relationships with high-level advisory groups as well as with similar structures in Member States and other countries; • To advise on novel science, technology and innovation issues; • […] to serve as an early warning conduct point on issues that might arise when scientific progress entails either opportunity or threat for the EU; • To communicate the scientific values on which specific Commission proposals are based in order to enhance public confidence in science and technology; • […] to promote European culture of science and technology widely within Europe and abroad. IP/11/1497 - 05/12/2011
  4. 4. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 "Science for Policy" The institutional embedding of the CSA José Manuel Barroso President of the European Commission Professor Anne Glover Chief Scientific Adviser to the President Secretariat-General (SG) Impact Assessment Board Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) DG Research and Innovation (RTD) Joint Research Centre (JRC) "Policy for Science" European Commissioners (including Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science) Directorates-General, including:
  5. 5. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Arriving in Brussels
  6. 6. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 1 02/01/2012
  7. 7. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 So, here I am – what can I do for you? Source: ETHZ
  8. 8. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The staff I had on the first day (that makes a team of 2) Source: ETHZ Lydia Laura (Secretary) Prof. Ana María Costa Freitas
  9. 9. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 23 24/01/2012
  10. 10. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 On this day I met some of the key figures Source: ETHZ Johannes Laitenberger, Head of the President's Cabinet Catherine Day, Secretary-General Máire Geoghegan- Quinn, Research Commissioner Dominique Ristori, Director-General Joint Research Centre (JRC) Koen Doens, Head of the Spokespersons Service
  11. 11. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 51 21/02/2012
  12. 12. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 My first 1:1 meeting with the President to discuss my priorities Source: ETHZ
  13. 13. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 78 19/03/2012
  14. 14. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I finally have a Scientific Assistant, seconded by the Joint Research Centre (that makes a team of 3) Source: ETHZ Dr Jan Marco Müller
  15. 15. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 92 02/04/2012
  16. 16. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Getting to know science in the Commission: Visiting Ispra (Italy), the largest JRC site Source: ETHZ
  17. 17. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 124 04/05/2012
  18. 18. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 My always supportive colleagues of DG CONNECT introduce me to the miraculous world of Twitter – how could I ever have lived without it? Source: ETHZ https://twitter.com/EU_ScienceChief
  19. 19. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 158 07/06/2012
  20. 20. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 In order to enhance transparency, I send my first weekly briefing to all DGs – sadly, others don't return the favour Source: ETHZ
  21. 21. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 185 04/07/2012
  22. 22. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Time to brief the President about some exciting European science Source: ETHZ Fabiola Gianotti, CERN
  23. 23. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 193 12/07/2012
  24. 24. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I am a special guest at the Euroscience Open Forum ESOF 2012 – but the European Commission seems to ignore my presence Source: ETHZ
  25. 25. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 On the same day my website goes online – updated by my own team Source: ETHZ http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/president/ chief-scientific-adviser/index_en.htm
  26. 26. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 207 26/07/2012
  27. 27. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Source: ETHZ After half a year, my terms of reference are defined in a message to all services of the European Commission
  28. 28. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Source: ETHZ
  29. 29. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 248 05/09/2012
  30. 30. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Visit to Washington: Seeking allies on the other side of the Atlantic Source: ETHZ
  31. 31. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 276 03/10/2012
  32. 32. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The Commission answers to a Parliamentary Question regarding public statements of the CSA on GMOs as follows: Source: ETHZ EN E-007606/2012 Answer given by Mr Barroso on behalf of the Commission (3.10.2012) […] The Commission wishes to use the opportunity to clarify to the Honourable Member the role of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA). The CSA reports directly to the President of the Commission and has the task to provide independent expert advice to the President on any aspect of science, technology and innovation and the potential opportunities and threats to the EU stemming from new scientific and technological developments. Likewise, the CSA has a role in enhancing public confidence in science and technology and to promote the European culture of science. In this context, the CSA has a role in stimulating societal debate on new technologies and to communicate the existing scientific evidence about such technologies. The CSA has a purely advisory function and no role in defining Commission policies. Therefore, her views do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission.
  33. 33. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 289 16/10/2012
  34. 34. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I organise together with JRC and DG RTD the first meeting of the European Commission with the Presidents of all National Science Academies in Europe Source: ETHZ
  35. 35. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 291 18/10/2012
  36. 36. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The fun part of the CSA job is that you meet very high-flying people Source: ETHZ Frank De Winne 1st European Commander of the ISS Walter Koenig alias Pavel Chekov Commander of the USS Enterprise
  37. 37. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 337 03/12/2012
  38. 38. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The European Space Agency seconds a foresight expert to my office (that makes a team of 4) Source: ETHZ Dr Didier Schmitt
  39. 39. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 345 11/12/2012
  40. 40. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I speak to the Competitiveness Council (= the Science Ministers of Europe) about the value of having a science adviser Source: ETHZ
  41. 41. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 423 27/02/2013
  42. 42. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Source: ETHZ The first meeting of the President's Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC)
  43. 43. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 432 08/03/2013
  44. 44. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Science writes my unofficial mid-term evaluation Source: ETHZ "Indeed, Glover's influence is hard to discern so far. […] With less than 2 years left until Barroso's term expires, Glover is pressing hard to raise the profile of science and evidence in European politics."
  45. 45. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 440 16/03/2013
  46. 46. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Being a CSA can be physically demanding Source: ETHZ Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) 5050 m altitude
  47. 47. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Sharing the sheer joy of European science Source: ETHZ
  48. 48. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 513 28/05/2013
  49. 49. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I join the first meeting of the Chief Scientists of the European Union Agencies (EU-ANSA) Source: ETHZ
  50. 50. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 547 01/07/2013
  51. 51. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I finally have my own PA (that makes a team of 5) Source: ETHZ Suzanne Speer
  52. 52. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 556 10/07/2013
  53. 53. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I have the pleasure to address the College of Commissioners talking about an innovation-friendly societal environment Source: ETHZ
  54. 54. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 557 11/07/2013
  55. 55. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 My office receives the first access to documents (= freedom of information) request – there will be many more Source: ETHZ Note the interest in my correspondence with other CSAs Estimated working time needed to prepare the reply: 30 hours
  56. 56. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 569 23/07/2013
  57. 57. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 As a science adviser, you always need to be on top of the scientific-technical progress
  58. 58. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 639 01/10/2013
  59. 59. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The first publication of my office, including the first report of the Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC) "The Commission should facilitate the establishment of a pan-European platform and forum on public concerns about science and technology. This platform should operate like a broker. It should help people to find reliable and robust information and to arrive at a balanced and well-reflected judgment on their own (pro and con information that meets predefined quality criteria)."
  60. 60. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 662 24/10/2013
  61. 61. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I moderate a consensus meeting between two opposing scientific camps in the field of endocrine disruptors
  62. 62. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 683 14/11/2013
  63. 63. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The European Parliament creates for the first time an in-house research service The European Council still doesn't have one
  64. 64. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 698 29/11/2013
  65. 65. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 My first public call for resignation Source: ETHZ Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini MEP Corinne Lepage
  66. 66. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 705 06/12/2013
  67. 67. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 In response to public demands I publish a detailed Conflict of Interest statement Source: ETHZ
  68. 68. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 733 03/01/2014
  69. 69. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The access to documents requests get bigger Source: ETHZ Submitted by Pesticide Action Network Europe
  70. 70. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Source: ETHZ Estimated working time dedicated to this request: 60 hours
  71. 71. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 746 16/01/2014
  72. 72. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 A seconded national expert from the UK House of Commons joins my team, replacing Ana María Costa Freitas (that still makes a team of 5) Source: ETHZ Xameerah Malik
  73. 73. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 758 28/01/2014
  74. 74. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I continue trying to convince national governments why they should have a government science adviser Source: ETHZ
  75. 75. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 778 17/02/2014
  76. 76. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I chair the first meeting of the Commission's internal Foresight Network – with 200+ people from 20+ DGs signed up Source: ETHZ • Subtitle 3D PRINTING Also known as additive manufacturing, this new application of ink-jet printing technologies makes possible mass customisation of most of the products currently generated in the world's manufacturing plants. Researchers have also shown it is possible to print living cells. PHOTONICS & LIGHT Advances in photonics will make it possible to interact with light in extreme conditions, work with new materials (engineered and organic) and work at the nanoscale. The result will be dramatic increases in data transmission speeds and bring about zero defect manufacturing through laser processing. PERSONALISED MEDICINE The first generation of 'digital patient profiles' brings with it the possibility to offer safer, cheaper integrated treatment and diets. No more treatment based on averages or statistics, just what you need, when you need it, based on your specific genome and biochemistry.
  77. 77. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 793 03/03/2014
  78. 78. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 My office welcomes a trainee from the Belgian Academies for Science and Arts (this makes temporarily a team of 6) Source: ETHZ Sofie Vanthournout
  79. 79. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 823 03/04/2014
  80. 80. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Doing some hands-on science diplomacy Source: ETHZ
  81. 81. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 850 30/04/2014
  82. 82. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The access to documents requests get bigger and bigger Source: ETHZ Submitted by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
  83. 83. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Source: ETHZ Estimated working time dedicated to this request: 90 hours
  84. 84. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 870 20/05/2014
  85. 85. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 I invite a number of NGOs to discuss how the use of scientific evidence by the Commission could be improved Source: ETHZ
  86. 86. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 904 23/06/2014
  87. 87. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Finding people similar to me in Europe wasn't easy (Situation 01/2012)
  88. 88. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 In the meantime there are a few more of us (Situation 08/2014)
  89. 89. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Terms of Reference European Science Advisers Forum (ESAF) Mandate The European Science Advisers Forum is an independent and informal network of government science advisers in Europe. The aim of the European Science Advisers Forum is to provide a platform on which government science advisers in Europe can • discuss and explore potential consensus on the scientific dimension of European-wide policy challenges • communicate with each other in emergency situations, • exchange experiences and best practices, • promote evidence-based policy-making in Europe. Finally: The first ever meeting of government science advisers in Europe Source: ETHZ
  90. 90. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 933 22/07/2014
  91. 91. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 NGOs ask for the CSA post to be "scrapped" Source: ETHZ "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 carried out by or for the Commission directorates in the course of policy elaboration." "Until now, the role of Chief Scientific Adviser has been unaccountable, intransparent and controversial." "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 the public interest."
  92. 92. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Luckily, I have some friends Source: ETHZ
  93. 93. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 And they are very vocal Source: ETHZ
  94. 94. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 961 19/08/2014
  95. 95. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 The NGOs send another letter Source: ETHZ "The intention of our letter was to stimulate a debate about […] the risks that continuing the CSA position poses to scientific policy advice in general. […] Far from being anti-science, our message is that there should be more objective and diverse expertise available to policy-makers than any single adviser could reasonably be expected to provide. […] President Barroso’s experiment of establishing a CSA position […] under-mined expert research undertaken by European agencies and independent scientists." "The question is how to ensure that the best representation of wide-ranging scientific advice is available to you and your colleagues. The CSA position does not and cannot fulfil this purpose. This is not because of a lack of resources but because of the fundamental flaws of the role itself."
  96. 96. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 970 28/08/2014
  97. 97. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 So, here I am – sharing my experiences with some of my fellow travellers Source: ETHZ
  98. 98. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 • EU policies are much more technical than national policies (as much of it is about harmonisation) – this drags science into a political battlefield. • Convincing the Commission of the scientific evidence is the easy part. It's harder to convince 751 MEPs from 190 different national Parties as well as 28 national governments (who all want to say at home that their position was adopted in Brussels). • Therefore, a science adviser in the Commission must have counterparts in the Parliament and in the Council / in Member State governments. • The diversity of cultural approaches to science advice should not be underestimated. Some Member States think that the CSA model does not suit them, while for others science advice as such is an entirely new concept. Lessons learned (1)
  99. 99. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 • Many people inside and outside the Commission appreciated the fresh air brought by my role. In fact, there was more appetite for scientific evidence in Brussels than I thought. • There was tremendous support for the role from the scientific community as well as business (which perceives the CSA as a "voice of reason"), while NGOs opposed it. • Though not part of my job description, a considerable part of my time had to be devoted to acting as a kind of "scientific ombudsman" of the Commission, handling complaints about the Commission allegedly ignoring scientific evidence (which shows the necessity of such a function). • I have been a constant target of lobbying (under the wrong assumption that this would influence my advice and that I have much more influence than I have in reality), therefore transparency is essential for the function, while respecting confidentiality. Lessons learned (2)
  100. 100. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 • Overall I was impressed with the rigour of Commission procedures, while I also identified many areas for improvement (e.g. science in impact assessments, lack of harmonised guidelines for evidence gathering, selective use of evidence). • The wealth of competence and expertise already available – e.g. in the JRC, in the EU Agencies, in national science academies – is far from being fully valued and harnessed. • A body like the European Commission is not used to the fact that someone does not speak "the official line". Hence, the administration felt uncomfortable with my role. • In-house politics hampered the efficiency of the role. Although I had the necessary independence, I was often excluded from essential information (sometimes being informed by people external to the Commission). Lessons learned (3)
  101. 101. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 • Being attached to the President did not mean that I saw him a lot – but it meant that people listened to me. • Despite not having any institutional power, my position gave me unique convening power – across Commission services and across Institutions. • But: Running a Chief Scientific Adviser function in the European Commission is not possible without adequate resources. • I would not have achieved anything without my always creative and hard-working team. • I confess that there have been frustrating days in this job – but this was more than balanced by the joy of being a voice for the most exciting European science. Lessons learned (4)
  102. 102. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 Day 1000 The President-elect announcing that he wants to strengthen the Chief Scientific Adviser role?
  103. 103. Science Advice to Governments, Auckland, 28-29 August 2014 E-mail: ec-csa@ec.europa.eu Twitter: EU_ScienceChief Thank you for your attention!

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