Sir John Beddington joins Oxford Martin School

30 May 2013

Former Government Chief Scientific Adviser to become Oxford Martin School’s Senior Adviser

The Oxford Martin School today announced the appointment of Sir John Beddington CMG FRS as its Senior Adviser. Sir John served as the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser for five years, and stepped down in March this year.

As Chief Scientific Adviser Sir John reported directly to the Prime Minister, and provided advice during emergencies such as the swine flu outbreak, the 2010 volcanic ash incident and the earthquake and tsunami affecting the nuclear plant at Fukushima. He was responsible for raising the profile of food, energy and water security in the context of climate change, popularising the concept of the ‘perfect storm’.

Sir John directed the Foresight team, which had responsibility to look forward and assess implications for major challenges in the future, producing reports typically involving some 400 contributors from around 40 countries, on very varied subjects and involving substantial multi-disciplinary work.

Sir John commented “The last few years as Chief Scientific Adviser have driven home to me the importance and complexity of the challenges we face over the next few decades. Scientifically, these require researchers to work across multiple disciplines in new and creative ways; politically, the results of this research need to have a real impact on the way we live. I am delighted to have found, in the Oxford Martin School, an institution which is dedicated to working on both these fronts.”

Professor Ian Goldin, the Director of the School, said “The Oxford Martin School exists to support the very best research on key global challenges, and to ensure that the results of our work inform government policy in the UK and around the world. Few people understand the importance and urgent need for interdisciplinary research being undertaken at the Oxford Martin School better than Sir John. We are delighted Sir John Beddington will be joining us and are confident that in his new position he will continue to contribute to global problem solving and increase the effectiveness and impact of the Oxford Martin School.”

Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, welcomed the appointment, saying “Sir John’s extensive experience and expertise in bridging the worlds of academia and government will be a tremendous addition to the Oxford Martin School and the broader University community. Through this new position, we hope Sir John will ensure that Oxford Martin School research is more accessible to policy makers as they grapple with today’s complex decisions.”