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Deputy Dean appointed MBIE Chief Science Advisor

Deputy Dean appointed MBIE Chief Science Advisor
Media advisory

Faculty of Science
The University of Auckland

28 August 2013


Professor Jim Metson, Deputy Dean of The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Science, has been appointed Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to provide a closer link between the Ministry and the New Zealand science community,” says Professor Metson. “This is a crucial interface in delivering on the Ministry’s statement of intent.”

“There is a substantial science component not just within the work of the Science, Skills and Innovation Group, but in activities across what is a very large and diverse Ministry. In this role it’s really important to keep strong connections within the University and with other research organisations across the country.”

Professor Metson’s two-year term as MBIE Chief Science Advisor is a part-time secondment from The University of Auckland. His continued role at the university will allow him to retain ongoing links with the community.

In announcing the appointment, MBIE Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks said: “Science and innovation are central components in the Government’s agenda to improve business productivity and the quality of life for New Zealanders, and underpin New Zealand’s economic success.”

“As the Ministry responsible for science, we deliver policy and services that develop and support a high-performing science and innovation ecosystem. The Chief Science Advisor role provides a critical connection between the Ministry and the scientific community, and will ensure that the Ministry stays well connected with science issues.”

“This role will provide independent specialist advice so that MBIE’s science policy and investments are delivering high-quality science for New Zealand. Professor Metson will also have a wider role in ensuring MBIE’s policy and advice is based on scientific evidence and principles, and will work closely with the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and other Crown department science advisors.”

University of Auckland Dean of Science Professor Grant Guilford congratulated Professor Metson on his appointment. “We in the Faculty of Science are well aware of Jim’s strengths in all of the areas stated as being required of the successful candidate, amongst them his outstanding professional scientific credibility, excellent understanding of the science and innovation system, and excellent relationship management and leadership skills. It’s wonderful to see these qualities recognised,” he said.

Professor Metson is an expert in materials and surface science, with a particular focus on metal oxides and applications in the aluminium industry. He is the current Deputy Dean of Science, Associate Director of the Light Metals Research Centre, and a former Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and Head of the School of Chemical Sciences at The University of Auckland.

ENDS

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