Anne Glover (biologist)

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(Lesley) Anne Glover
EU 2050 Europe's Tech Revolution - Anne Glover (1).jpg
Born (1956-04-19) 19 April 1956 (age 60)
Alma mater University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, High School of Dundee
Occupation biologist
Employer University of Aberdeen, University of Cambridge, Rowett Research Institute, Macaulay Institute, University of New South Wales
Spouse(s) Ian George[1]
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire[*], Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire[*], Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society
Scientific career
Thesis The biochemistry and biosynthesis of halobacterial membrane proteins (1982)

Dame Lesley Anne Glover, DBE, FRS, FRSE, FASM[4] (born 19 April 1956),[1] known as Anne Glover, is a Scottish biologist and academic. She was Professor of Molecular biology and Cell biology at the University of Aberdeen before being named Vice Principal for External Affairs and Dean for Europe. She also served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission from 2012 to 2014.[3][5][6][7][8]

Early life and education[edit]

Glover was born on 19 April 1956.[1] She was educated at the High School of Dundee and the University of Edinburgh gaining a first class Bachelor of Science honours degree in Biochemistry in 1978.[1] She went on to study at King's College, Cambridge for a Master of Philosophy degree in 1979 and a PhD 1981 on the biosynthesis of halobacterial membrane proteins.[4][9]


From August 2006 to December 2011, she was the first ever Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland,[10] where her role was to further enhance Scotland's reputation as a science nation. She was joint chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee and served on the Scottish Council of Economic Advisers until her appointment to the European Commission in 2012.[citation needed]

Glover holds a Personal Chair of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Aberdeen, along with honorary positions at the Macaulay and Rowett Institutes, and the University of New South Wales, Sydney.[citation needed][10]

European Commission[edit]

Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission, Anne Glover, visits ESO's Paranal Observatory.[11]

Glover's role as Chief Scientific Adviser included provision of independent expert advice on any aspect of science, technology and innovation as requested by the President of the European Commission. She also acted as an ambassador for European science, both promoting and communicating the benefits and values of science in Europe.[12] She presided over a substantial growth in the role of the Chief Scientific Adviser, from a position with almost no resources to an influential voice in European science policy. She consistently emphasised the need for the European Commission's science policy to be firmly based on evidence.

On 13 and 14 November 2014, it was reported by the BBC and The Times that the Chief Scientific Adviser's post would be abolished, following lobbying from nongovernmental organisations, including green groups who disagreed with Professor Glover's support for genetically modified crops,[13] after the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker decided to close the Bureau of European Policy Advisers.[14] An article in New Scientist earlier in the year highlighted the controversy concerning the proposals for abolition.[15]

Honours and Awards[edit]

Glover was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,[when?] the Institute of Biology,[when?] the Royal Society of Arts,[when?] and the American Society for Microbiology.[when?] She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2016.[4]

She was a council member of the Natural Environment Research Council from 2001-11. She was recognised in 2008 as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology[16] In February 2013 she was assessed as the 19th most powerful woman in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[17] She was interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili for The Life Scientific, broadcast in March 2014.[3]

In the 2009 New Year Honours, Glover was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of her service as Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland and "for services to environmental science".[18] In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in recognition of her role as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission and "for services to Science"; she was therefore granted the title dame.[19]

Glover received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2013.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d GLOVER, Prof. L(esley) Anne. Who's Who 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ McLaggan, D.; Amezaga, M. R.; Petra, E.; Frost, A.; Duff, E. I.; Rhind, S. M.; Fowler, P. A.; Glover, L. A.; Lagido, C. (2012). "Impact of Sublethal Levels of Environmental Pollutants Found in Sewage Sludge on a Novel Caenorhabditis elegans Model Biosensor". PLoS ONE 7 (10): e46503. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046503. PMC 3463613. PMID 23056324. 
  3. ^ a b c Anne Glover interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili on The Life Scientific, BBC Radio 4, 18 March 2014
  4. ^ a b c "Professor Dame Anne Glover DBE FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2016-04-29.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived September 25, 2015)

  5. ^ Carroll, Dean (17 February 2012). "The new EU chief scientist – in her first major interview". Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Kupferschmidt, K (2013). "Profile: Anne Glover. Europe's science superwoman struggles to get off the ground". Science 339 (6124): 1144–5, 1147. doi:10.1126/science.339.6124.1144. PMID 23471384. 
  7. ^ Peplow, M. (2014). "EU science chief wants greater voice for experts". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2014.15445. 
  8. ^ "The Commissioners (2010-2014): President Chief Scientific Adviser". European Commission. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Glover, Lesley Anne (1982). The biochemistry and biosynthesis of halobacterial membrane proteins (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  10. ^ a b "Scottish Science Advisory Committee: SSAC Members". Scottish Government. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission visits ESO's Paranal Observatory". ESO Announcement. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Appointment of Chief Scientific Adviser", Europa, Brussels, 5 December 2011; retrieved 29 February 2012.
  13. ^
  14. ^ McGrath, Matt (13 November 2014). "Researchers 'appalled' as EU chief scientist role is axed". BBC News. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  15. ^ Lane, Síle (25 July 2014). "Don’t scrap Europe’s chief scientific adviser". New Scientist. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "Women of Outstanding Achievement in SET Achievement in SET Photographic Exhibition, 2008" (PDF). UK Resource Centre for Women in Science Engineering and Technology. 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  17. ^ BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 7. 31 December 2008.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61256. p. B8. 13 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Honorary Graduates Autumn 2013" (Press release). Heriot-Watt University. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • profile at University of Aberdeen
  • archive of Chief Scientific Officer 2010−2014 webpages