Sir David King knows a thing or two about science policy. For seven years he was chief scientific advisor to the UK government, telling it what it needed to know (and a few things it would probably rather not have known) about everything from climate change to animal diseases.
So it’s worth listening to him when he says that the European Union should have proper independent science advice and a scientific advisor to deliver it.
“There isn’t a pro-active system of scientific advice within the [European] Commission,” he says.
Which is slightly concerning when you consider the annual science budget of the union is measured in millions of Euros.