Key Government post for St Andrews professor

Professor Ian Boyd
Professor Ian Boyd

A leading scientist at the University of St Andrews has been appointed to a key UK Government post.

Professor Ian Boyd has been appointed by Defra (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) to be its new chief scientific adviser.

Professor Boyd, who is the current director of the Scottish Oceans Institute and the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews, will join Defra in September on a three-year contract.

He will replace Professor Sir Bob Watson, who is leaving Defra after five years in the post.

Professor Boyd will maintain his links with St Andrews and Scotland. Defra has agreed to allow him to pursue his own academic interests one day per week and he is to step into a new role at the university, as Adviser to the Principal’s Office on Knowledge Exchange, an area of key strategic focus for St Andrews.

The chief scientific adviser (CSA) sits on Defra’s Management Board and is responsible for overseeing the quality of evidence that the department relies on for policy decisions. The CSA also provides Ministers with scientific advice and sets the priorities for scientific research and evidence gathering.