Two years after pledging to create the position, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has appointed Anne Glover, a Scottish molecular and cell biologist, as the region's first-ever chief scientific adviser, Nature is reporting.
Anne Glover is currently Scotland's chief scientific officer and has served in the role since 2006. Neither the European Commission nor Glover would confirm the appointment, Nature said, though it noted that she is leaving her current position in late December and the Scottish government is advertising for her replacement.
Barroso's decision to create a top European science job, delayed by the financial crisis, could be an enormous boost in helping the Continent push a unified strategy for scientific research and priorities. But her specific role remains unclear, Nature said. One observer noted, however, that the appointment comes from the United Kingdom, which unlike other European countries, uses the chief scientific adviser model.
Some European science leaders reacted favorably to the appointment. European Research Council President Helga Nowotny, for example, told Nature that Glover will be a "persuasive and credible ambassador for research and innovation."
Glover is a professor of molecular biology at the University of Aberdeen. She's focused on research areas including microbial diversity, studying how organisms respond to stress at the cellular level and using whole cell biosensors for environmental monitoring, according to her Scottish government biography.