UK Government

Home Office: New Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser announced

Press Release   •   Jan 20, 2010 11:07 GMT

Professor Bernard Silverman has been appointed as the new Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office it was announced today.  He will replace Professor Paul Wiles who is leaving Government service after holding the post for over ten years.

Professor Silverman is a distinguished mathematician and statistician with experience of advising Government on a range of issues.  He is currently Professor of Statistics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow and member of Council of the Royal Society.  He was Master of St. Peter's College, Oxford from 2003-2009 and before that Professor of Mathematics at the University of Bristol. He is the serving President of the Royal Statistical Society, an office he will relinquish in order to take up work at the Home Office on 1 April this year.

The Home Office Permanent Secretary, Sir David Normington, said:

"I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Bernard Silverman as the Home Office's new Chief Scientific Adviser.  This is a vital role providing us with the highest quality scientific advice for our work on crime, policing, counter terrorism and immigration.  Professor Silverman is highly respected and experienced in his field of mathematics and statistics and a distinguished fellow of the Royal Society.  I am looking forward to working with him in the coming months."

Professor Bernard Silverman said:

"I am delighted to be appointed as the new Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office. I am excited by the opportunity to be involved in such a broad range of policy areas and subjects.

"I would like to thank Professor Paul Wiles for his valuable work over the past ten years and I wish him all the best for the future.  I hope that I can continue to carry on his work in the same professional manner."

The Chief Scientific Adviser is critical to the work of the Home Office.  They provide high quality and timely scientific advice to Ministers and senior officials.  Their opinion helps to shape Home Office work across a broad range of areas, from understanding changing crime trends or drivers of migration, improving the way biometrics can be used to protect identity, and further strengthening our response to the threat from terrorism.

The position was advertised externally and a rigorous recruitment board took place in accordance with the recruitment principles of the Civil Service Commissioners.  The panel was chaired by a Civil Service Commissioner and included the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Professor John Beddington.

Notes to Editors:

1. Professor Bernard Silverman's previous government work includes:

* a non-executive directorship in the Defence Analytical Services Agency; the Statistics and Economics agency of the Ministry of Defence;

* Chairmanship of the peer review panel for the Department for Transport's Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow Agency; and

* member of the Government's GM Science Review panel, which produced two reports on the science behind the debate on genetic modification.

2. Professor Silverman's current posts include:

* President of the Royal Statistical Society;

* Professor of Statistics at the University of Oxford;

* Senior Research Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the environment at Oxford; and

* Professorial research associate at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.

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