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Mark Walport will be nobody’s fool as he becomes the government’s chief scientific adviser on 1st April. Walport, who headed the Wellcome Trust for a decade and succeeds John Beddington, wants a starring role for scientific evidence in policymaking. He has cited the environment and the ageing population as areas he plans to get stuck into. He’ll be setting out his stall at a conference at the Royal Society on 18th April, called “Future directions for scientific advice in Whitehall.”

Organised by Cambridge University’s Centre for Science and Policy (www.casp.cam.ac.uk), it will feature speakers from the department for environment, food…

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