Government’s top scientist visits University of Nottingham

Government’s top scientist visits University of Nottingham

PA 299/09

The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser visited The University of Nottingham to find out about the world-leading research taking place on campus.

Professor John Beddington — who reports directly to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet — was on a fact-finding visit to the University in his role as the head of the Government Office for Science.

He met academics carrying out cutting-edge research in the fields of global food security, bioenergy, clean fossil energy, carbon capture, climate change and other areas in which The University of Nottingham is leading the way. His visit, on November 18th, took him to the Sutton Bonington campus and to University Park, where he met the Vice-Chancellor Professor David Greenaway.

Professor Beddington was invited to the University by Professor Greenaway, to see first-hand the role Nottingham is playing in helping to meet ambitious national targets on the environment and climate change.

Professor Beddington was appointed as Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) in January 2008, and as such heads the Government Office for Science. The Government Office for Science is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and exists to ensure that Government policy and decision-making is underpinned by robust scientific evidence and long-term thinking.

Professor Beddington reports to the Prime Minister and Cabinet and works with all Government departments. He also heads the science and engineering profession in government. He has been adviser to a number of government departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office.

He has acted as a senior adviser to several government and international bodies, including the Australian, New Zealand and US Governments, the European Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer, said: “We were delighted to be able to show Professor Beddington a snapshot of our research activities in a number of very important areas. We will be using this opportunity to stimulate dialogue between the University and key Government departments, to show the contribution that we can make to tackling some of the biggest research challenges of the 21st century.”

The University of Nottingham has recorded record research awards for each of the last five years and a total of 140m in 2008/9. The total research portfolio exceeds 2,100 research projects, with a total value of in excess of 400m.

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Nottingham was ranked 7th in the UK in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 in terms of research power, in recognition of the international impact, sustainability and synergy of its research. More than 90 per cent of research at Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

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