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 CSci FRS (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

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

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. 

Dr Simon Festing

Simon is currently Chief Executive of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management. He was previously CEO at the Society for General Microbiology, and then previously at Understanding Animal Research (UAR). 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 as a campaigner 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, before becoming CEO at UAR. Apart from the leadership and management duties of the CEO roles, Simon’s main interest and expertise is in 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. 

Jon Poole

Jon joined IFST as Chief Executive in March 2010 having previously worked as Deputy Chief Executive at the Society of Chemical Industry. As well as being a Board Trustee of the Science Council Jon is currently Chair of SALSA – the Safe and Local Supplier Approval scheme which provides third party auditing and mentoring for micro and small food businesses in the UK. Jon also chaired the New Registers Group for the Science Council which developed professional recognition across all science-based sectors at Technician and Registered Scientist levels. Prior to his roles in science-based membership bodies, Jon worked as a consultant specialising in behavioural and organisational development. During this time he published three practical ‘how-to’ books around leadership behaviours and business coaching. 

Mark Robson CSci (Honorary Treasurer, co-opted July 2013)

Mark Robson is Head of Statistics and Regulatory Data at the Bank of England, a board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner. He joined the Bank in 1995 from the OECD in Paris, where he was principal tax economist and statistician. Since then he has also been a member of Council of City University, London; Treasurer and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University (of which he is now an honorary research fellow); and an IMF Expert Adviser to the Royal Thai Finance Ministry. Previously he was in turn a mathematics tutor, HM Inspector of Taxes, Government Economic Adviser and senior manager with KPMG. He is honorary treasurer of the Royal Economic Society, and formerly of the Royal Statistical Society. He is a governor of London Metropolitan University, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation; and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.

Jill Rodney

Jill has been Chief Executive of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) since January 2011. Prior to this Jill was Chief Executive at Milton Keynes Hospital where she led the turnaround of the hospital from zero to three stars and then secured NHS Foundation Trust status. Jill started work as a Clinical Pharmacist before moving into NHS management. She has also been Chief Executive of Oxfordshire Community Health Trust and Director of Service and Strategic Development at the NHS Executive. Jill is passionate about promoting educational excellence standards in the science sector and particularly in the professional development of Biomedical Scientists who make a vital contribution to the delivery of patient care. Jill is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, The Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Guild of Public Relations Practitioners and the Institute of Directors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is currently chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Dr Robert Chaplow (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.

There are two Board sub-committees:

Audit and Risk Committee

Jill Rodney (Chair)
Dr Colin Grant CSci
Dr William Marshall (Independent member)
Dr Valerie Shrimplin 
(Independent member)

Nominations Committee

Dr Robert Parker CSci (Chair)

Professor Robert Ashford

Dr Bev Mackenzie

Dr Heather Barrett-Mold

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