Dr Tara Spires-Jones has been announced as one of only seven leading scientists set to form a revitalised Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC) to advise Scottish Ministers from 1 February. Tara, who sits on the Steering Committee for the Centre for Dementia Prevention, is a Chancellor’s Fellow and an expert in the biology of Alzheimer’s disease.
The SSAC is an important source of science advice, and complements the other science advisers available to the Scottish Government, including the Chief Scientist (Health) and the Chief Scientific Adviser for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment.
Science Minister Dr Alasdair Allan welcomed the appointments:
“Science is at the heart of much of the Scottish Government’s work, driving our economy and improving our quality of life. These new appointments will help ensure we have access to the very best scientific advice across a diverse range of policy areas. It is also heartening to see that nearly half of the new appointments are female scientists at a time when we need more young women to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. ”
As well as championing dementia, Tara hopes to use her appointment to give a voice to women and minority groups in science policy:
“I am very much looking forward to working with the Scottish Government as a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council. In my role, I will highlight the importance of dementia research and our fantastic potential in Scotland to contribute to effective treatments through our combination of scientific expertise and the willingness of the public to participate in research.
“This is a also tremendous opportunity for me to learn about the breadth of Scottish Science and to work with experts in other fields to look at ways we can integrate across disciplines to enhance human knowledge and solve societal problems. In addition, I hope as a council we will make a difference in enhancing the diversity of scientists, particularly retention of women and minorities in high level science positions.”
Follow Tara on Twitter @TSpiresJones
With excerpts taken from a press release http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Expert-panel-appointed-2205.aspx