European Commission to appoint scientific experts
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Commission appointed Professor Anne Glover as Chief Scientific Advisor. However, several European Stakeholder organizations expressed concern with advice provided. Following the controversy the European Commission decided to scrap the position.
This move created a major debate in Europe and questions where raised regarding the role of scientific advice visavi Stakeholder views.
Several high standing Academic representatives questioned the European Commission decision and expressed concern that science based decisions in difficult and controversial issues would be severely undermined.
Indeed, the role science should be to provide advice and support evidence based policy making and the fact that scientific advise may be regarded as controversial by individual stakeholders should not deter policy makers to make informed decisions.
The controversy will hopefully end as Science|Business (http://sciencebusiness.net/) reports that the European Commission has decided to create and appoint a 7 member panel of scientists to provide scientific advise to the European Commission and to policy makers.
The Scientific Advisory Group would be available all legislative bodies in the European Union and support the process of policy making.
The structure of this group will reflect the structure used by the European Research Council in Horizon 2020 and may also reflect the structure used by some (but not all) European Member States that have a Scientific Advisory Panel. The scientific advisory panel will be supported by European Commission personnel and will have its own budget (still to be decided upon)
The group will collaborate with already available Scientific Academies and organizations already in place in the European Union including the Joint Research Centers.
Importantly, the group will be free to express their own opinion for example to media in order to secure transparency.
Hopefully this will end a bitter debate regarding how scientific advice should be incorporated into European Policy making
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