The President's Science & Technology Advisory Council
Welcome to the website of the President's Science & Technology Advisory Council. The Council is an independent and informal group of science and technology experts from academia, business and civil society, covering a broad range of disciplines and uniting expertise from across the European Research Area. Established in January 2013, the task of the Council is to examine areas where research and innovation can contribute to Europe's growth — with a particular focus on benefits and risks of advances in science & technology and how to address and communicate these.
On this website you will find information related to the mandate of the Council, the profiles of its members, as well as the documents related to its meetings, including the opinion papers the Council provides to the President of the European Commission.
Professor Anne Glover CBE, Chief Scientific Adviser
Chair of the Science & Technology Advisory Council
The creation of the Science & Technology Advisory Council follows the President’s appointment of Professor Anne Glover as the European Commission’s first Chief Scientific Adviser in January 2012, aiming at ensuring more evidence-based European Union policy-making, but also at promoting the uptake of science & technology in society, including a better transfer of knowledge from the scientific world to industry.
The Science and Technology Advisory Council is an independent and informal group of outstanding science and technology experts from academia, business and civil society, covering a broad range of disciplines and uniting expertise from across the European Research Area. Its members have been selected by the President in consultation with the Chief Scientific Adviser, based on their scientific reputation, experience at the science-policy interface and communication skills.
The main aim of the Council is to provide advice directly to the President on how to create the proper environment for innovation by shaping a European society that embraces science, technology and engineering. In particular, the Council will advise on the opportunities and risks stemming from scientific and technological progress. It will also advise on how to communicate these in order to foster an informed societal debate and ensure that Europe does not “miss the boat” and remains a global leader in cutting-edge technologies.
The Science and Technology Advisory Council differs from other advisory bodies in the Commission in that it does not have a specific subject remit, but tackles issues that are of cross-cutting nature, with a clear societal dimension. It will operate in a proactive way, identifying topics of value and of interest to support future growth and development in Europe. The President will also ask the Council for advice on science and technology related topics that are of key importance for underpinning the Commission’s growth agenda.
With the creation of this Advisory Council, and other key proposals to support the development of research & innovation, such as the Innovation Union, the European Research Area and Horizon 2020, President Barroso added another building block to pursue the goal of delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for Europe.
Anne Glover (United Kingdom)
Anne Glover joined the European Commission as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President in January 2012, being the first person to hold this position. In her role she chairs the President's Science & Technology Advisory Council. Prior to her current appointment she was Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland from 2006-2011. Having graduated from the University of Edinburgh and obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, Anne Glover holds a Personal Chair of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen.
Alan ATKISSON (Sweden)
Alan AtKisson is the President and CEO of "AtKisson Group". He has been working at the forefront of sustainability initiatives since 1988, advising large companies, governments, cities, foundations, NGOs, and the United Nations. Alan has specialised experience in the areas of sustainability indicators and reporting, climate change strategy, renewable energy finance, green economic transformation, and large process facilitation.
Ferdinando BECCALLI-FALCO (Italy)
Ferdinando "Nani" Beccalli-Falco is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GE Europe and CEO of GE Germany. He is a Senior Vice President of GE and a member of the Corporate Executive Council of the Company. In his current role, Beccalli-Falco is responsible for maximising growth opportunities and process optimisation to drive profitability across all business in Europe, Russia and the CIS. He works across GE's businesses to help identify and develop new market opportunities as well as to grow the existing customer base and build strategic relationships.
Victor DE LORENZO (Spain)
Víctor de Lorenzo is a Spanish chemist and microbiologist. He works as Research Professor at the National Centre of Biotechnology in Madrid where he is employed since 1996, after running a large number of projects at the Pasteur Institute (Paris), the University of California (Berkeley), the University of Geneva and the German Federal Centre of Biotechnology (Braunschweig). His research exploits advanced molecular biology and genetic engineering of microorganisms for the sake of biomonitoring.
Tamás F. FREUND (Hungary)
Tamás F. Freund is a Professor and Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, and Chairman of the Neuroscience Department of the Péter Pázmány Catholic University in Budapest. He has been President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) 2004-2006, and served as member of the Executive Committee of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) 1998-2003 and as Chairman of the IBRO Central and Eastern Europe Regional Committee (1999-2003).
Susan M. GASSER (Switzerland)
Susan Gasser holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and was named Professor for Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva in 2001. In 2004, she moved to Basel as the Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, which is funded by the Novartis Research Foundation, and became Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Basel. She is one of Switzerland's most outstanding scientists, and has received numerous awards for her achievements in genetics. She is a member of various National Science Academies, including those of Germany and France, was chair of the Council of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and was awarded the EMBO Women in Science award in 2012. She has been engaged in various European capacities, including on the advisory panel of the Commission on Health Research and as Chair of the panel for Starting Grants of the European Research Council (ERC).
Monika HENZINGER (Austria)
Monika Henzinger is a professor of computer science at the University of Vienna. Her expertise is in algorithms and information retrieval. She was on the faculty of Cornell University and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), member of research staff at Digital Equipment Corporation and Compaq, and Director of Research at Google. She is the recipient of an NSF Career Award, a European Young Investigator Award and an ERC Advanced Grant.
Søren MOLIN (Denmark)
Søren Molin has more than 40 years of microbiology research experience with over 260 publications. He is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences as well as the Danish Academy of Natural Sciences. In the 1990s he undertook pioneering research in biofilm activity and developed molecular tools and image analysis for studies of bacterial biofilm development. These activities are still the foundation for on-going science comprising also cell-cell interactions and evolutionary processes. He is a Professor of Biosustainability at the Danish Technical University in Copenhagen and Director of the Novo Nordisk Centre for Biosustainability.
Joanna PINIŃSKA (Poland)
Joanna Pinińska is a Full Professor of Geology at Warsaw University. She graduated at the Academy of Mines and Metallurgy in Cracow, with an MSc & Engineering diploma in Applied and Mining Geology. She obtained her Ph.D. degree at Warsaw University where she served later on two terms as a Dean of the Faculty of Geology. She specialised in engineering and economic geology oriented on rock properties under high pressure and temperature. As Head of the Department of Geomechanics she created a high-tech, unique Laboratory of Rock Mechanics dedicated to the research of rock properties at great depths.
Alexandre Tiedtke QUINTANILHA (Portugal)
Alexandre Tiedtke Quintanilha chairs the committee responsible for implementing a newly formed consortium of the three major biomedical research institutions in Porto. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, of the World Academy of Arts and Science and the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Literature and is member of the Council for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society (USA). He has published well over over 120 peer-reviewed scientific articles and six books and has always been involved in science policy. His current interests are in the areas of biological stress, risk perception and public understanding of science.
Ortwin RENN (Germany)
Ortwin Renn serves as full professor and Chair of Environmental Sociology and Technology Assessment at the University of Stuttgart (Germany). He directs the Stuttgart Research Centre for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS) and the non-profit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes in environmental policy-making. He also serves as Adjunct Professor for Integrated Risk Analysis at Stavanger University (Norway) and as Affiliate Professor for Risk Governance at Beijing Normal University (China). Ortwin Renn has a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Cologne.
Riitta SALMELIN (Finland)
Riitta Salmelin is Professor of Imaging Neuroscience at Aalto University and member of the Academy of Finland. She received her Ph.D. in Physics in 1989. She is a member of Academia Europaea since 2002. Prof. Salmelin conducts research in the field of systemic and cognitive neuroscience. She is an expert in the world-famous MEG method, a non-invasive imaging technique that can be used to analyse the function of both healthy and diseased brains.
Pat SANDRA (Belgium)
Emeritus Professor Pat J. Sandra received his Master's degree in Organic Chemistry in 1969 followed by a Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry in 1975 from Ghent University, Belgium. He joined the Faculty of Sciences of Ghent University in 1976 as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor of Separation Sciences in 1988. In 1986 he founded the Research Institute for Chromatography in Belgium, a center of excellence for research and education in chromatography, mass spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis. During this time he has authored or co-authored over 500 scientific publications and presented over 250 invited lectures at scientific meetings.
Hans-Joachim SCHELLNHUBER (Germany)
Hans-Joachim "John" Schellnhuber is the founding and present Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). He is Professor for Theoretical Physics at the University of Potsdam and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, USA. Being one of the leading climate scientists worldwide, he was member of the President's Advisory Board on Climate Change and Energy during the Barroso I Commission and served as climate change adviser to Chancellor Merkel during Germany's EU Council Presidency and G8 Presidency in 2007.
Roberta SESSOLI (Italy)
Roberta Sessoli received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Florence working on low dimensional molecular magnetic materials under the supervision of Dante Gatteschi. Since 2012 she is a Full Professor of Chemistry at the University of Florence. Her research interests have focused on the magnetic properties of molecular materials. She has been a pioneer in the field of magnetic bistability at the molecular level and quantum effects in these mesoscopic materials, for which in 2002 she has been awarded, among colleagues, with the Agilent Technology Europhysics Prize.
Cédric VILLANI (France)
Cédric Villani, born in 1973, is a French mathematician working primarily on partial differential equations and mathematical physics. He is a Full Professor at Lyon University and has been the Director of Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris since 2009. He received the Fields Medal for his work on Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation.
Ada E. YONATH (Israel)
Ada Yonath is an Israeli crystallographer best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome. She is the current Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Yonath elucidated the modes of action of over twenty different antibiotics targeting the ribosome, illuminated mechanisms of drug resistance and synergism, deciphered the structural basis for antibiotic selectivity and showed how it plays a key role in clinical usefulness and therapeutic effectiveness, thus paving the way for structure-based drug design. In 2000, she was awarded the first European Crystallography Prize. In 2009, she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz for her studies on the structure and function of the ribosome.
1st meeting of the Science & Technology Advisory Council (27/02/2013)
2nd meeting of the Science & Technology Advisory Council (10/04/2013)
3rd meeting of the Science & Technology Advisory Council (09/07/2013)
4th meeting of the Science & Technology Advisory Council (07/11/2013)
5th meeting of the Science & Technology Advisory Council (31/01/2014)
6th meeting of the Science & Technology Advisory Council (14/04/2014)
The President's Science & Technology Advisory Council
Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser
Rue de la Loi 200