Professor Gideon Henderson has been appointed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to be the department’s new Chief Scientific Adviser.
Currently a Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford and until recently its head of department, Professor Henderson will join Defra in October this year replacing replace Sir Ian Boyd, who is leaving Defra after seven years in the post.
Professor Henderson was Co-Director of the 21st Century Ocean Institute, a member of the Oxford Martin School from 2008-2012. and was a founding director of the Geoengineering Programme, of which he remains an Associate. He also remains connected with the School through his role as an Oxford Martin Senior Fellow.
I am thrilled to be joining Defra at a time when the environment is such a strong priority and there is an ever-growing public level of environmental awareness. The UK faces many challenges – among them responding to climate change and helping meet a net zero emissions goal, as well as ensuring our food’s security and realising the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan. I look forward to working closely with colleagues to help achieve these ambitions with the support of the UK’s excellent scientific research.
The Chief Scientific Adviser sits on Defra’s Board and is responsible for overseeing the quality of evidence that the department relies on for policy decisions. They also provide Ministers with scientific advice and sets the priorities for scientific research and evidence-gathering.
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, offered a warm welcome to Professor Henderson saying that he looks forward to working with him and seeing his positive impact on science in the department.