paul-nursePaul Nurse, the geneticist who received the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Director of the UK’s Francis Crick Institute, will be joining the EU’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) in March.  He will replace outgoing chair Henrik Wegener, who is leaving to concentrate on his new duties as rector of Copenhagen University. Rolf-Dieter Heuer, former Director General of CERN and SAM member, will now lead the panel.

The SAM, which was established by EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas in 2015 after the post of Chief Science Advisor was abolished by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, provides the Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice on specific policy issues where such advice is critical to the development of Union policies or legislation.

The group consists of seven members with an outstanding level of expertise and who collectively cover a wide range of scientific fields and expertise relevant for EU policy making. In addition to Messrs Heuer and Nurse, members include  Janusz Bujnicki, head of the laboratory of bioinformatics and protein engineering at Warsaw’s International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology; Pearl Dykstra, professor of sociology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam; Elvira Fortunato, professor in the materials science department of the Faculty of Science and Technology at NOVA University in Lisbon; Carina Keskitalo, professor of political science at the department of geography and economic history at Umeå University and Cédric Villani, director of the Henri Poincaré Institute, in Paris.

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