Saturday, August 6, 2022

Sir Patrick Vallance resigns as Chief Scientific Advisor

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Sir Patrick Vallance, who played a crucial role in guiding Britain through the coronavirus pandemic, will step down as the government’s chief scientific adviser.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “impossible to fully convey the scientist’s influence” as it was announced he would step down from the role at the end of his five-year term next April.

Sir Patrick acknowledged that his tenure was both “challenging and hugely rewarding” as the search for his successor was imminent.

Sir Patrick, 62 and originally from Essex, was an academic and consulting physician before joining GlaxoSmithKline where he became President, Research and Development.

In 2018 he replaced Sir Chris Whitty as Chief Scientific Advisor and two years later both became household names as leading experts and communicators in the fight against Covid-19.

Mr Johnson said: “It is impossible to fully convey the impact Sir Patrick has had as Chief Scientific Advisor.

“Sir Patrick may not have expected to be a household name when he signed up for the job, but I am very grateful to him for his advice and expertise during the pandemic and beyond.

“He will be missed by all when he leaves next year and I wish him the very best in all future endeavors.”

Sir Patrick was seen as the calm voice providing the hard scientific evidence to politicians making the decisions during the pandemic.

He is expected to feature prominently during the official investigation into the coronavirus response.

Sir Patrick said he remains “fully committed” to his role, which includes advising ministers on science and technology policy, until his successor takes over.

“Science and technology remain vital to the future prosperity of the UK and quality evidence and scientific advice should be at the heart of all government decisions,” he said.

“The GCSA’s appointment for a limited period is an important way to ensure independence and my five-year tenure has been both challenging and immensely rewarding.”

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