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The former Foreign Office chief scientist Robin Grimes tells Cristina Gallardo how science can improve Britain’s relationships with other nations.

Robin Grimes did not feel that the Foreign Office was making the most of its chief scientific adviser when he took up the role in February 2013. Ministers and other staff in the department were not coming to him for advice, and some didn’t even know his post existed.

“I am only the second person to have had this position,” says Grimes, who stood down as CSA in August to return full-time to his role as professor of physics at Imperial College London. “It made me realise that I am actually part of an evolution that would get to a steady state when a CSA is a normal position to have. I realised I had absolutely not got to business as usual when I joined. Not even close.”

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