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Getting back to basics

Morten Østergaard, Denmark’s new research minister, tells Pia Pedersen about his priorities and why Denmark needs a national innovation strategy.

Morten Østergaard is a man with high ambitions for Danish science. A 35 year old in his very first ministerial position, Østergaard nonetheless conveys an air of steady confidence, whether chatting in a cosy coffee shop or addressing Denmark’s parliament.

Any scientists who have been thinking Østergaard is too young and inexperienced to operate effectively in Denmark’s new centre-left government may want to think again, however. He’s already a reasonably experienced MP, having served as one for the SLP since 2005. And he made the most of it early on, being elected vice-chairman of the party’s parliamentary group in 2007.

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