Bookmark and Share

The Science Council was established by Royal Charter in 2003 with the object of advancing science and its applications for public benefit.

Constitution and principal activity

The Science Council was established under Royal Charter in October 2003 and was registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in September 2009. The principal activity of The Science Council is to promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of and education in science, pure and applied, for public benefit. An amended Charter received Privy Council seal on 10th December 2008.

Structure and governance

The Science Council is a membership organisation governed by a Board of Trustees answerable to the Full Council of Member Bodies. The Board of Trustees is chaired by the President and there are currently nine elected trustees and two co-opted trustees. The Full Council agrees the strategy, policies and priorities of the Science Council. Council also elects the President and the Board of Trustees. Council meetings currently take place three times a year and one of these meetings is the Annual General Meeting.

Board of Trustees

The Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and management of the Science Council and for ensuring that the Science Council meets its charitable objectives. Trustees are elected by Member Bodies to serve in this capacity as individuals and not as representatives of organisations, interest groups or sectors. Elected Trustees normally serve a four year term with one quarter of elected trustees retiring each year. The Chair of the Registration Authority attends the Board but is not a trustee. The Chief Executive is secretary to the Board. The Board usually meets four times a year. 

Professor Sir Tom Blundell FRS CSci (President of Council and Chair of the Board)

Tom Blundell is Director of Research and Professor Emeritus in Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, where he was Sir William Dunn Professor and Head of Department and Chair of School of Biological Sciences. He has previously held teaching and research positions in the Universities of London, Sussex and Oxford. Tom researches on molecular and structural biology of growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction and DNA repair, important in cancer, tuberculosis and familial diseases. He has published 540 research papers, including 30 in Nature. 

Tom was a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Advisory Council on Science & Technology, founding CEO of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environment, and since 2008 Deputy Chair of the Institute of Cancer Research. Knighted in 1997 he is a member of several UK and international academies including the UK Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences; EMBO; Academia Europaea; the Indian National Science Academy; Academy of Medical Sciences; and The World Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College Cambridge; he has Honorary Fellowships at Brasenose and Linacre Colleges, Oxford & Birkbeck College; Honorary Doctorates from 16 Universities. His interests are in walking, international travel, modern jazz and opera. 

Professor Robert Ashford CSci

Professor Ashford qualified as a podiatrist in the mid-1970s. He initially took a clinical post in Lanarkshire Scotland which he held for three years. He subsequently secured a teaching post at the Glasgow School of Podiatry and has worked in various higher educational institutions in Huddersfield and Belfast. He moved to the West Midlands in 1994 where he secured the first academic Chair in podiatry. Currently Robert is the Director of the Faculty of Health’s Graduate School at Birmingham City University, a position he has held for almost ten years. He is an active researcher and has 120 publications and has presented much of his work at national and international meetings. He has an eclectic research profile ranging from podiatry in the broadest sense to computational modelling and chronic pain management. He holds Fellowships in the College of Podiatry and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.  

Dr Heather Barrett-Mold CSci

Dr. Heather Barrett-Mold has worked in further and higher education for a number of  years, and was Principal and Chief Executive of Pershore Group of Colleges; a land-based college. Heather is primarily a biologist/ecologist and was a member of the Government Advisory Panel on Sustainable Development Education for its lifetime of 5 years. Heather is now working as a consultant for a variety of organisations mostly in further and higher education; she is currently Chair of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, is a Past President of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and is a Secretary of State Board member for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Heather was an expert with the Commission for Sustainable London 2012. 

Professor Ian Campbell

 Ian is a Professor of Applied Physiology and Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire. Ian is currently engaged in all strategic and operational decisions which underpin the positioning and success of the University. Most recently he led the development and implementation of a new strategic plan for the University. Professor Campbell also serves on a number University company boards. Ian previously held the role of Pro-Vice Chancellor at Brunel University for 5 years and during this time had responsibility for the portfolios of Student Experience and Staff Development, and External Relations. Prior to joining Brunel Ian was Head of Business Development for a leading international management consultancy company.

Ian’s primary research interests relate to the physiology of athletes with a spinal cord injury and gained his PhD from Loughborough University in 1992. His work has continued to focus in this area and he has an international reputation in this area and has published his work in international journals and has given invited presentations in the USA, China and Europe. He was elected Chair by the membership of his professional body, the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), in July 2011.

Dr Simon Festing

Simon is currently Interim Head of Advocacy at the British Heart Foundation. He previously held three Chief Executive roles, at the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, the Society for General Microbiology, and Understanding Animal Research. Simon trained and worked as a medical doctor for two years before taking an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London. He then worked in the environmental movement for a decade, including at Friends of the Earth. He subsequently spent 15 years in the health/biosciences sector, initially at the Association of Medical Research Charities. Apart from the leadership and management duties of the CEO roles, Simon’s main interest and expertise is in advocacy, policy and communications.

Dr Colin Grant CSci

Colin is a consultant to industry having retired from full time work at BP in January 2014. He spent some 35 years in meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) matters in the offshore industry. After obtaining a B.Sc. and Ph.D. from Bristol University, his early career was as a marine weather forecaster. He then worked in Brunei Shell Petroleum as a forecaster and metocean specialist. He joined BP in 1984 and was ultimately responsible for developing the design and operational metocean criteria for many offshore projects across the globe. He chaired the offshore industry’s metocean committee from 2008 to 2013. In 2002 he joined the IMarEST to assist them in developing their marine science professional registration (CMarSci). Colin is a CMarSci, CSci and a Fellow of the IMarEST. He was chairman of the IMarEST Membership Committee from 2007 to 2013. Through IMarEST he became involved in Science Council activities and joined the Board in 2012. He was a member of the New Registers Advisory Group (NRAG), the NRAG Licensing Sub Group and has been involved in several license reviews, both as a member and chairman. He is currently Vice Chair of the Registration Authority. 

Dr Bev Mackenzie CSci CMarSci

Bev Mackenzie is Director of Technical & Policy at the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) of which she is also a member. Her primary role is the development of the learned society output of the Institute including effective and forward looking policy on cross-sectoral marine engineering, science and technology, developing a program of learned society events and learned publications. Bev is responsible for coordinating the IMarEST contributions to a wide range of local, regional and global policy developments through submissions to UK Government consultations and select committee that fulfil the requirements of a wide variety of stakeholders. Bev is passionate about engaging young people, and in particular, young women into the fields of science and engineering and promoting the value of registration for science professionals. She is a Chartered Scientist and a Chartered Marine Scientist.

Edmund Nickless CSci

Edmund is the Executive Secretary of Geological Society. After graduation from Queen Mary College, University of London in 1968, he joined the British Geological Survey working in London and Edinburgh, primarily on land-use planning matters, reporting to central government. He moved to the Natural Environment Research Council, running the office of the Director of Earth Sciences where he was responsible for geosciences research grants and studentship awards and UK involvement in international collaborative research; the Science and Technology Secretariat of the UK Government’s Cabinet Office as Environmental Advisor; after which he returned to BGS as Assistant Director in charge of corporate co-ordination and information.  

Professor Stuart Palmer

Stuart retired from the University of Warwick in 2010 and is now an Emeritus Professor with a number of advisory roles, including a Council member at Cardiff University, the Honorary Secretary of the Institute of Physics, Chair of the Institute of Physics Publishing Board and Secretary General of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and a visiting professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. He has been involved in HEFCE activities for a number of years and is a member of the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group and Chair the TRAC Development Group. He joined Warwick as Professor of Experimental Physics in 1987 from the University of Hull. He was Head of the Physics Department from 1989 to 2001, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research from 1995 to 2001 and Deputy Vice Chancellor from 2001 to 2010. His research focused on Condensed Matter Physics and magnetism and superconductivity in particular. 

Dr Robert Parker CSci

Robert Parker is Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), a learned and professional organisation with 49,000 members worldwide. It has major outputs in education, events, policy and publishing. Before taking up the position as CEO Robert ran the very successful publishing wing of the RSC. Robert has a PhD in chemistry and is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Robert is chair of the Science Council’s Nominations Committee. He lives in Gloucestershire and is married with three adult children. He loves good food, art history and motorcycling. 

Dr Philip Wright

Philip WrightCurrently Chief Executive of The Physiological Society, Philip has extensive experience of the pharmaceutical, biological and biomedical science sectors. In 2007 he founded and led as Chief Executive, Stem Cells for Safer Medicines Ltd (SC4SM) a public-private research collaboration to develop the use of stem cells in early drug safety screening. From 2002 to 2009 he was Director of Science and Technology at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) leading a number of other high profile initiatives to support R&D. Previously he was Director of Scientific & Educational Affairs at Glaxo Wellcome, with corporate responsibility for science, R&D and education external affairs and prior to this at the CBI where he had lead responsibility for science, technology and innovation policy. He has a Degree and PhD in Marine Biology and has passed the IoD’s Diploma in Company Direction.

Dr Adam Law

Adam Law

Dr. Adam Law is a founder of ERC Equipoise and serves as Geoscience Director. Over the last 18 years, he has gained extensive experience both as an operator and as a consultant. Adam worked as a Geoscientist for Amerada Hess and as a Geophysicist for British Gas, prior to joining Equipoise Solutions as a Principal Geoscientist in 2003. Adam is a registered Petroleum Evaluator with the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers. He holds a PhD in Geophysics from Cambridge University, and a Bachelor of Science in Exploration Geophysics from London University. He is also an Officer of the Geological Society of London, and has been a member of the Council of the PESGB.

Dr Robert Chaplow CSci (attends Board as Chair of the Registration Authority)

Dr Chaplow has chaired the Registration Authority since 2009. He is a professional engineering geologist with over 40-years’ experience, and has been involved in over 60 major civil engineering projects in more than 30 countries world-wide. He is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Engineer and Chartered Geologist, and is currently an Honorary Visiting Professor at Kingston University. He was a Member of the Council of the Geological Society (1997-2002), Secretary (Professional Matters), Chair of the Professional Committee and Member of Council, European Federation of Geologists. He was Chair of the Registration Authority for the European Federation of Geologists (2004-2009). Dr Chaplow is a Scrutineer, on behalf of the Geological Society of London, for validation of Fellows as Chartered Scientists and Chartered Geologists.

Nick Whitaker (attends Board as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee)

Nick Whitaker

Nick is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with substantial experience in business and professional practice management, being in charge of both London and nation wide service units and on the Board of PKF(UK)LLP responsible for strategy and profitability. He has have advised companies both in the UK and internationally, including Del Monte, HM Treasury, Whole Foods, Nuclear Liabilities Fund Trust and the United Nations, through to smaller investment and technology businesses including start ups and activities in the not for profit and charitable sectors, such as London Metal Exchange and the National Housing Federation.


There are two Board sub-committees:

Audit and Risk Committee

Nick Whitaker (Independent Chair)
Dr William Marshall (Independent member)
Dr Heather Barrett-Mold CSci
Dr Simon Festing 

Nominations Committee

Dr Robert Parker CSci (Chair)

Professor Robert Ashford CSci

Dr Bev Mackenzie CSci

Dr Heather Barrett-Mold CSci

Edmund Nickless CSci

Professor Stuart Palmer

Registration Authority

The Board is advised on matters relating to the four Registers by a Registration Authority. The Registration Authority is appointed by the Board and is responsible for upholding the standards of the Chartered Scientist, Registered Scientist, Registered Science Technician and Chartered Science Teacher designations. Its membership comprises of elected individuals nominated by the Licensed Bodies and experts from other areas. It meets four times a year, reporting to the Science Council Board, and is chaired by Professor Robert Chaplow (who attends the Board but is not a trustee). Professor Chaplow will be succeeded as Chair by Colin Grant in December 2015.

Registration Authority Membership: 

Dr Robert Chaplow CSci (Chair)

Dr David Barr CSci

Dr Colin Grant CSci

Trevor Holme CSci

Dr Trevor Lewis CSci
Sarah May CSci
Professor Peter Sharp CSci 
Corinne Stevenson 

Brian Cameron (Observer), Engineering Council

Trish Hall (Observer), Society for the Environment