The new Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) is now operational, with the first meeting of the newly-formed group taking place in Brussels last week.
The seven scientists who form SAM met Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, and Andrus Ansip, the Commission's vice-president responsible for the Digital Single Market.
The group nominated a chair and deputy chair: Henrik Wegener, executive vice-president and chief academic officer of Technical University of Denmark, and Elvira Fortunato, professor of materials science, new university of Lisbon, respectively.
It was agreed that issues surrounding cybersecurity would be first on the group’s agenda. The panel will also examine CO2 emissions from cars and vans.
SAM has been set up as an additional layer of science assistance for the Commission that is supposed to be independent of the Brussels machine, and transparent.
The expert panel will have a semi-autonomous secretariat within the Commission and a more formal link to Europe’s national academies of science.
The members are appointed for two and a half years, renewable once.
The members are Janusz Bujnicki, head of the laboratory of bioinformatics and protein engineering at Warsaw’s International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology; Pearl Dykstra, professor of sociology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam; Elvira Fortunato; Rolf-Dieter Heuer, departing director-general of CERN; Julia Slingo, chief scientist with the UK’s Met Office; Cédric Villani, director of the Henri Poincaré Institute, in Paris; and Henrik Wegener.