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Group of Seven

Seven scientists have been named to a panel that is to provide the European Commission with independent advice, Nature News reports.

The scientists include Rolf Dieter-Heuer, the outgoing head of CERN, as well as Janusz Bujnick, a bioinformatician at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw; microbiologist Henrik Wegener from the Technical University of Denmark; and mathematician Cédric Villani, who heads the Henri Poincaré Institute, among others, ScienceInsider adds.

"This looks like a good group," Anne Glover, the first and only Chief Scientific Adviser to the EC, tells ScienceInsider, noting that she had named Villani, to the former President's Science and Technology Advisory Council. "They have scientific credibility as well as a deep knowledge of the ways in which scientific evidence can be used to inform policy as well as the world of politics."

This group is part of the larger Science Advice Mechanism that is to replace the controversial CSA role. The panel is to meet between four and six times each year, though additional meetings can be called, Nature News says. It will have a staff of 25 and is to also seek input from national academies and the scientific community.

The panel's first meeting is to be in January, though the topic of that meeting isn't yet known. Research commissioner Carlos Moedas tells ScienceInsider that current events will in part dictate what the panel tackles.