PM extends tenure of science adviser

May 20, 2005

Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser, has been given an unprecedented second term in his post, ending months of speculation in the science community, writes Anna Fazackerley.

His five-year appointment was due to finish next October. But the Prime Minister announced last week that his contract would be renewed for a further two years.

Westminster insiders say Sir David won the personal trust of Tony Blair during the foot-and-mouth outbreak before the 2001 election. He also has the support of the academic community.

Ian Gibson, who chaired the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in the last Parliament, said: "Dave is very well thought of by everyone.

"He's the person we want at the head of the nuclear debate when it kicks off. It's going to be the big thing in science this time round."

Sir David has been cautious about contributing to scientific debate in the media. But he has been famously outspoken on climate change, saying that it poses a greater threat than terrorism.

Before entering the Civil Service, he was head of the chemistry department at Cambridge University and master of Downing College. He remains professor of chemistry at Cambridge.

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