Biologist becomes government's top scientist

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LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) Prime Minister Gordon Brown named a biologist known as an expert in the science of managing fisheries to take over as the government's chief scientific adviser next year.

Professor John Beddington, 61, professor of applied population biology at Imperial College London, will succeed Sir David King as Head of the Government Office for Science on Jan.

1, Brown's press office said.

As chief government science adviser, he will be responsible for the quality of government advice from scientists in all fields. The post plays a role in politically sensitive issues like the environment.

King, a chemist who has held the chief science adviser post since 2000, has been an outspoken advocate of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming, describing climate change as a greater threat than terrorism.

But he has also annoyed some environmentalists by supporting nuclear power and expressing scepticism about some of the benefits of organic farming.

REUTERS SKB HS1640

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