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Lord cries foul in science advice rejig

A prominent member of the UK’s House of Lords has questioned whether the recent departure of a British presence in the high-level group of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism is related to Brexit.

In a letter to the UK research minister Jo Johnson, the chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee John Palmer said that the committee found it “surprising” that there is now no UK representative in the SAM group—following the resignation of meteorologist Julia Slingo on 25 November—“given the UK’s position as the leading scientific nation in Europe”.

The Commission’s decision to replace Slingo with someone from outside the UK—Carina Keskitalo, a Swedish political scientist—seems to "run contrary" to the spirit of the research commissioner Carlos Moedas’s statement in July that the UK would retain all rights and obligations of a member state until it leaves the EU, the letter said.

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