Covid Scotland: New chief scientific adviser appointed by Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has appointed Professor Julie Fitzpatrick as its next chief scientific adviser (CSA).

The CSA sits on the Scottish Science Advisory Council to provide independent scientific advice to the government and advocates for Scotland’s research base.

In addition to working with other senior advisers as part of the pandemic response, Prof Fitzpatrick will continue as the scientific director of the Moredun Research Group, a research institute in Midlothian that specialises in livestock health and infectious diseases.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The Scottish Government has appointed a new chief scientific adviser. Picture: Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool/Getty Images

She will take up the part-time role on June 14, succeeding Prof Sheila Rowan who is to leave the post after five years.

Prof Fitzpatrick qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Glasgow’s Vet School, gained a PhD in mucosal immunology from the University of Bristol, and has a Masters degree in epidemiology through distance-learning from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

She is currently chairwoman of both the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health and the UK Scientific Advisory Board, and non-executive director of the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Julie Fitzpatrick

Prof Fitzpatrick said: “I’m very much looking forward to engaging with scientists and engineers inside government and across our science base to hear more about their inspiring work and how new developments could impact on the work of the Scottish Government.

“I know that ministers and officials recognise the value of science and I’m keen to support their work by helping them to access and use science advice and evidence across a range of policy areas.”

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The past year has highlighted just how important science is to the work of the Scottish Government, and I’m delighted to welcome Prof Fitzpatrick as our new chief scientific adviser.

“As CSA, Prof Fitzpatrick will play a key role in ensuring that science advice informs our work across the board and adds value to our pandemic response.”

Sir Muir Russell, chairman of the Moredun Research Institute said: “Professor Julie Fitzpatrick has provided world class leadership to the Moredun Research Institute, marked by strong international collaborations and the delivery of diagnostics and vaccines that have made a huge difference to livestock husbandry.

“She has played an important leadership role in the work of the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes.”

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