Ireland’s Chief Science Adviser steps down


15 Nov 2005

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It emerged this evening that the Government’s Chief Science Adviser Barry McSweeney is leaving his current position. His departure follows a controversy surrounding the source of his PhD qualification.

In a statement the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD said McSweeney will take up a new position as research co-ordinator within the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources with the aim of progressing the sectoral research and development priority areas of energy, marine, ICT, digital and geoscience.

Minister Martin said: “In his position as Chief Science Adviser, Barry McSweeney has been effective in bringing stakeholders together and forging links across the science, technology and innovation spectrum. His achievements during his time in the position fully reflect the drive and enthusiasm, which has been the hallmark of his career, both in Ireland and Europe.

“McSweeney’s experience gained at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre will be a valuable asset in his new role,” the Minister said. “On behalf of the Government, I wish to thank McSweeney for his unstinting commitment as Chief Science Adviser and to wish him every success in his work at the Department of Communications,” the Minister said.

The controversy over McSweeney’s PhD flared up over the revelation that he received the qualification from Pacific Western University in the US, an institution that is believed to have been discredited in the US and by the Swedish Government.

By John Kennedy