Defra’s Science Advisory Council (SAC), established in February 2004, was re-modelled during 2011 based on the recommendations of an independent review, commissioned by Defra’s previous Chief Scientific Adviser – Professor Bob Watson – and led by Professor Charles Godfray.
The remodelled SAC remains a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and has a strengthened role in supporting the Chief Scientific Adviser in the oversight of all Defra expert scientific committees. It continues to provide independent advice and challenge to the Chief Scientific Adviser and Ministers on the science underpinning a range of Defra policies.
As per Professor Godfray’s report recommendations, the SAC has been reconstituted as a smaller, more agile body of seven individuals, plus an independent Chair.
Members were appointed through open competition during the summer 2011. Members were selected for their breadth of scientific knowledge across the range of topics covered in Defra’s remit (including the social sciences), rather than for individual specialisms.
- Review of the Science Advisory Council (September 2010) (pdf, 178 KB)