Sir John was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government from January 2008 to April 2013. While in post, he led on providing scientific advice to Government during the 2009 swine flu outbreak, the 2010 volcanic ash incident, and the emergency at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011. He was also responsible for increasing the scientific capacity across Whitehall by encouraging all major departments of state to recruit a Chief Scientific Adviser.
A specialist in the application of economics and biology to particular problems in the management of fisheries and other renewable resources, he was senior advisor to several major national and international bodies including the UK, US and Australian Governments, the European Commission , the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
In June 1997 he was awarded the Heidelberg Award for Environmental Excellence; in 2001 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2004 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George by Her Majesty the Queen and in June 2010 was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Last updated: 14 February 2014