In an article published on May 13, 2015 by ScienceInsider, the online policy news site of Science Magazine, journalist Tania Rabesandratana reports that Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, will oversee the creation of the new science advisory system of the European Commission (EC). The EC plans to appoint a high-level group of scientists to advise its policy makers. In addition, the EC will create structures to better draw on the expertise of national academies across Europe. Rabesandratana highlights that today’s news marks a major turn after a period of uncertainty beginning in November 2014. At that time, the new EC president Jean-Claude Juncker ended the 3-year-old post of Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), perceived by some as a sign of Juncker’s disregard for science. Others, however, welcomed his decision, as the CSA role had been previously criticized for lack of transparency and for being vulnerable to corporate influences (Health and Environment Alliance, 2014).
Commissioner Moedas gave details about what he calls the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). He revealed that the group will be made up of seven top level scientists, who will not be employed by the EC, contrary to the former CSA role. The advisory panel’s members will be recruited by an identification committee consisting of three so far unnamed members. The recruitment process will be similar to the European Research Council’s search for scientific council members. The panel will be supported by a 20-25-person strong secretariat.
The EC aims to have the new system running fully by autumn 2015.
Tania Rabesandratana (May 13, 2015). “Updated: European Commission to appoint seven to new high-level science advice panel.” ScienceInsider