The European Union's Chief Scientific Adviser position has been eliminated, the BBC reports.
The incoming president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, is jettisoning the Bureau of European Policy Advisers, which includes the CSA position, and replacing it with a European Political Strategy Center group that does not include a science adviser post, New Scientist adds.
Anne Glover, who was appointed by the outgoing EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, currently holds the CSA position. The BBC notes that Glover sparred with green groups over her embrace of genetically modified crops, and that green groups have urged Juncker to get rid of the CSA post.
Many researchers, particularly in Britain, are "appalled" by this move, the BBC says.
"Many of the major challenges facing Europe — climate change, food security, healthy aging, disease control — require scientific input to policy at the very highest level. This is disastrously short-sighted," says Nigel Brown, president of the Society for General Microbiology.
The Royal Society's Paul Nurse adds that "[s]cientific advice must be central to EU policy making, otherwise you run the risk of having important decisions being unduly influenced by those with mixed motives."