We would like to wish every congratulations to our alumna and Honorary Fellow Professor Dame Angela Mclean on becoming the first woman to be appointed Government Chief Scientific Adviser.

Professor Dame Angela (1979, Maths) won an open competition for the role, and will assume her new duties on April 1st. The GCSA provides independent scientific advice to the Prime Minister and the cabinet on aspects of policy and ensures the highest standards of quality are met in the provision and use of scientific evidence and advice in government. Professor Dame Angela will also become Head of the Government Science and Engineering Profession and part of the executive team of the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

“I am delighted to take on this role at such an important time in our country for Science Innovation and Technology,” said Professor Dame Angela.

“All of us in government are going to greatly miss Sir Patrick, and I look forward to working with colleagues to build on the work he has led during his time as GCSA.

“My long-term mentor, the late Lord Robert May, held the post of GCSA between 1995 and 2000 and that personal connection adds a particular depth to my sense of honour in being asked to take on this role.”

Angela’s research interests lie in the use of mathematical models to aid our understanding of the evolution and spread of infectious agents. She is also interested in the use of natural science evidence in formulating public policy and has co-developed the Oxford Martin School Restatements: an activity which restructures and presents the evidence underlying an issue of policy concern or controversy in a short, uncharged, intelligible form for non-technical audiences.

She is currently serving the end of her tenure as Chief Scientific Adviser for the Ministry of Defence. During the pandemic, she served as Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, a role which included sharing her expertise at some of the daily televised press conferences, attending SAGE meetings, and co-chairing SPI-M-O, the sub-group of SAGE that prepared advice for government using epidemiology, data analysis and mathematical modelling.

Angela established Mathematical Biology at the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council’s Institute for Animal Health in 1994. Before this, Angela was a Royal Society Research Fellow at Oxford University and a Research Fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

In 2009 Angela was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. She has been awarded the Gabor Medal in 2011 and the Weldon Memorial Prize in 2018. She received her damehood in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

headshot of Honorary Fellow Professor Dame Angela Mclean

Professor Dame Angela McLean

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