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Patrick Vallance

England chooses new scientific advisor

GSK Pharmacologist Patrick Vallance was appointed Chief Scientific AdvisorGSK

Pharmacologist Patrick Vallance, 57, will be the new Chief Scientific Advisor to the British government from April 2018, replacing immunologist Mark Walport, who has held the position since 2013. Vallance is currently head of research and development at pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and this year he was elected a fellow of British scientific academy the Royal Society. In his new role, he will act as advisor to Prime Minister Theresa May and head of the Government Office for Science, which promotes the use of scientific evidence in the formulation of government policies. One of the most urgent issues facing Vallance is the impact on science of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, which will take place in 2019. While the UK has announced Vallance’s appointment in advance, the Donald Trump administration is still yet to nominate a scientific advisor to the American government. According to the scientific journal Nature, as of October 23, Trump has taken longer to name a science advisor than any other president since the Office of Science and Technology Policy was established in 1976.