Scientist takes up key government role
A leading Edinburgh scientist is being appointed as the Scottish Government's Chief Scientific Adviser for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Professor Andrew Millar, Director of Research in the School of Biological Sciences, will provide scientific advice on issues such as the environment, agriculture and the wider rural economy.
One of the challenges facing Professor Millar will be to develop and secure Scotland's science base in these areas, through the Brexit process.
The main functions of the role are to provide independent science advice to inform work across policy areas, and champion the use of evidence to inform policy development and delivery.
Professor Millar succeeds Professor Louise Heathwaite, who held the Scottish Government position until 2017.
Professor Millar's research aims to understand how the 24-hour biological clock is constructed and adjusted, why it has evolved in the way that we now find it, and how it affects plant life from the cell to the ecosystem.
I'm looking forward to working with Professor Millar to tackle some of Scotland's most crucial environmental, agricultural and rural issues, and the positive impact scientific developments could have on these.
Scottish science has an enviable track record and our natural resources are among the country's most critical assets. I am happy to contribute to Scottish policy at a time when change and opportunity in this area are coming from social and political development, as well as from new scientific understanding, technologies and the changing environment.