The U.K. local council for Southampton has announced the appointment of a chief scientific adviser. Professor AbuBakr Bahaj is the first person to hold the post, and is Professor of Sustainable Energy at Southampton University. Southampton is a major port city on the southern coast, and part of a major urban area of over a million people.
The City Council, in announcing the appointment, describes the position of science adviser as a “role to champion science and engineering as a key driver of the economy and ensure the city uses science effectively in all policy-making.” Perhaps based on Professor Bahaj’s background, his first projects will involve energy efficiency in city buildings and services. To emphasize the partnership with Southampton University, the City Council leader will sit on two university panels concerned with research.
While the U.K. Government Chief Scientific Adviser quite rightly trumpets the appointment as the first local government scientific adviser in the U.K. What I am interested in confirming whether or not there are any other local government chief scientific advisers? I cannot think of one, but I also cannot claim comprehensive knowledge of local governments around the world. I know many cities and other local governments in the U.S. have engineers, but they are typically focused more on public works function than policy advice. In this new position for Southampton, the emphases would be reversed.
So, dear readers, are any of you aware of other local government (not state or province) chief scientific advisers? If so, please pass them along.