May or may not

August 25, 1995

Rumours persist in Whitehall that Bob May, the Oxford University-based biologist, initially refused to continue with his appointment as the Government's chief scientific adviser on being notified of the Office of Science and Technology's transfer to the Department of Trade and Industry.

It is widely thought that Professor May, who succeeded Sir William Stewart in the post, was not consulted about the heavily criticised move beforehand. He was mightily concerned that the job he originally accepted was going to undergo big and worrying changes because of the move. According to sources, Professor May kept up with his threat to resign for up to a week, relenting eventually to reassurances from the OST.

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