Professor Aston’s role will be to ensure that departmental decisions are informed by the best science and engineering evidence and advice. The Chief Scientific Adviser offers advice directly to ministers and officials and works together with the Chief Scientific Advisers’ network to advise on issues that cut across government.
Professor Aston’s appointment follows the retirement of Professor Bernard Silverman earlier this year. He will join the Home Office on 4 September from the University of Cambridge, where he is Professor of Statistics.
Professor Aston specialises in applied statistics but will provide advice on a range of issues at the Home Office. He was, until recently, a trustee of the Alan Turing Institute, and has previously spent much of his career working in the United States and Taiwan.
Speaking ahead of starting his new role, Professor Aston said:
I am honoured and privileged to be joining the Home Office as its Chief Scientific Adviser. I’m looking forward to working with the scientific community to understand the issues facing the Department over the coming years and identify how science, engineering and analysis can help to overcome those challenges.
Patsy Wilkinson, Second Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, said:
Professor Aston brings with him a wealth of experience that will be of great value in ensuring the work we do to keep our country safe and secure continues to be supported by the latest scientific advice and research.
Professor Sir Mark Walport, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, said:
Having access to high-quality expert scientific advice is critical to every government department. I am delighted to welcome someone with Professor Aston’s expertise to the Chief Scientific Advisers’ network and look forward to working with him.