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I worked to build a bridge between science and government. Now the relationship has broken down—costing thousands of lives

A former chief scientific adviser reflects on how pandemic preparedness was thrown away, and how the structures to bring expertise into government failed when they were needed most

Image: ClimateRepair/Wikimedia Commons

The government chief scientific adviser is intended to create a bridge between the latest developments in research in our universities across to the government and civil service. The post is traditionally filled by parachuting in a leading academic researcher, for (almost always) a limited period of four years. Created by Churchill at the beginning of the Second World War, it has been deemed…

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