Professor Colin Blakemore will be taking up the position of chair for the Food Standards Agency's (FSA's) General Advisory Committee on Science (GACS).
Described by the Royal Society as one of Britain's most influential communicators of science, Blakemore is a renowned British neuroscientist and was chief executive of the UK Medical Research Council from 2003 to September 2007.
The overall purpose of the new GACS committee is to offer independent challenge and advice on how the FSA collects and uses scientific evidence. The Committee's agenda embraces horizon scanning, science governance, developing good practice and informing science priorities.
Dr Andrew Wadge chief scientist at the FSA said: "Professor Blakemore is one of the most influential and respected scientists in Britain and we’re delighted that he has accepted this position. The FSA relies on the robust use of good scientific evidence in its work to promote food safety, healthy eating and consumer choice. His role will be vital in helping to shape the Agency’s strategy on science in policy making and public protection."
Blakemore said: 'Openness and a rigorous approach to science have been hallmarks of the FSA since it was established, but today it’s increasingly important to communicate sound science in a way that everyone can understand, and to find constructive ways of engaging with the public on areas of concern. I think this will be one of the key challenges facing me and my colleagues on GACS as we try to strengthen further the FSA’s firm foundations in science.'
His appointment runs for two years, to the end of December 2009.