Publication of the note « Reflections on the missions of a Government Chief Scientific Advisor ».

Le portail des sociétés savantes académiques en France

Publication of the note « Reflections on the missions of a Government Chief Scientific Advisor ».

On 30 September, 28 learned societies from a wide range of disciplines in science and technology, the humanities and social sciences, and 3 associate members of the Collège des Sociétés Savantes Académiques de France published a memorandum entitled « Reflections on the missions of a Government Scientific Adviser ». This note can be downloaded here.

The report of the mission on the research and innovation ecosystem1, led by Philippe Gillet, Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), was published on 15 June 2023. It includes 14 recommendations for improving the efficiency and clarity of the national research system and enabling it to respond to the major challenges facing society. The report’s first recommendation is to create a High Advisor for Science, reporting to the Prime Minister or the President of the Republic.

The memorandum published on 30 September deals exclusively with this first recommendation. The signatory societies and associations believe that the excessive distance between political leaders and the sciences is a major cause of the current dysfunction in the research, higher education and innovation ecosystem, as well as the failure to take sufficient account of scientific approaches and knowledge in the public decision-making process. This choice should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the other recommendations.

We propose the apppointment of a « Government Chief Scientific Adviser » (GCSA), reporting to the Prime Minister, whose remit would differ from that proposed by the Gillet mission, and would focus on four areas:

  • Ensuring that elected representatives and ministers have access to summaries of scientific data that can inform their decisions, and that they are in a position to take them into account. Evaluate a posteriori the compatibility of decisions taken with scientific consensus.
  • Develop the presence of scientists within government departments, to facilitate the operational implementation of science-informed public policies.
  • Enhance the scientific culture of the public and journalists, including both approaches and fundamental knowledge in a wide range of technological, formal, human and social sciences.
  • Strengthen France’s presence and influence in international bodies working on major global challenges.

The scope and diversity of these tasks will require the creation of a suitable environment for the GCSA, including a technical support team and one or more interdisciplinary scientific councils, whose collegiate positions will be embodied by the GCSA. Lastly, the memo lists a number of points that require further consideration prior to the creation of this position, including how it will be appointed, the characteristics of its mandate and its relationship with current advisory structures.


  • Association des Enseignants Chercheurs de Psychologie des Universités
  • Association des historiens modernistes des universités françaises
  • Association Française d’Economie Politique
  • Association française d’études américaines
  • Association Française de Mécanique
  • Association pour la Recherche en Didactique des Mathématiques
  • Association pour la recherche en didactique des sciences et des technologies
  • Association pour la Recherche en Didactique et Acquisition de l’Anglais
  • CILAC – Comité d’information et de liaison pour l’archéologie, l’étude et la mise en valeur du patrimoine industriel
  • Société Botanique de France
  • Société Chimique de France
  • Société d’études anglo-américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles
  • Société de Neuroendocrinologie
  • Société de Psychophysiologie et de Neurosciences Cognitives
  • Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur
  • Société des Historiens médiévistes de l’enseignement supérieur public
  • Société des Neurosciences
  • Société Française d’Acoustique
  • Société française d’Optique
  • Société Française d’Écologie et d’Évolution
  • Société Française de Physique
  • Société Française de Psychologie
  • Societe Française de Virologie
  • Société Française pour le Droit de l’Environnement
  • Société Francophone de Santé et Environnement
  • Société Informatique de France
  • Société Mathématique de France
  • Association française des petits débrouillards
  • Société Nationale d’Horticulture de France
  • Proposition_conseiller_scientifique_gouvernement_college_SSA_2023
  • Association des Professeurs de Mathématiques de Enseignement Public de la maternelle à l’université