Professor Muffy Calder appointed as Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland

Published: 14 February 2012

The new Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland will be Professor Muffy Calder, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced.

The new Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland will be Professor Muffy Calder, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced.

Professor Calder, currently Professor of Computing Science and Dean of Research at the University of Glasgow’s College of Science and Engineering, has been appointed following an open competition.

The Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland is an overarching role, championing science as a key driver of the economy, and ensuring the Scottish Government uses science effectively in all policy-making.

The First Minister said: “Excellence in science is critical to Scotland’s prosperity and well-being. I am delighted that we have been able to appoint a  scientist of Professor Calder’s stature and experience to provide advice and support to Ministers and the Scottish Government.”

The Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Professor Anton Muscatelli added: “Professor Muffy Calder is an outstanding scientist and brilliant communicator, and she is an excellent choice as Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland.

“We are delighted that one of our leading professors will hold this position at a time when the role of science in society and the economy is more important than ever. Everyone at the University of Glasgow wishes Professor Calder well in her new role.”

Professor Calder said: “I’m pleased to be taking up the post of Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland at a crucial time for the country. The world faces many scientific challenges in areas such as environment, software systems, and health and wellbeing.

“In Scotland some of the world’s best scientists and engineers are working to tackle these problems, and I am proud to be part of the country’s thriving scientific community. I look forward to ensuring our scientific research and industry continues to flourish, and that the Scottish Government gets the very best advice.“


The Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland provides independent scientific advice to Ministers, champions Scotland’s world-leading research base and co-chairs the Scottish Science Advisory Council.  In this role, Professor Calder will work alongside the Chief Heath Scientist, Professor Andrew Morris, whose appointment was announced last week, and the new Rural and Environment Chief Scientific Adviser, once appointed.

Professor Calder will formally take up her post on March 1.

Muffy Calder is Professor of Computing Science and Dean for Research in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Glasgow. She is a Royal Society Leverhulme Research Senior Fellow and Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award Holder.

Her research is in modelling and reasoning about the behaviour of complex software and biochemical systems using computer science, mathematics and automated reasoning techniques. She has developed and used a variety of process algebras, temporal logics and model checking techniques to solve problems in a range of systems, from telephone networks and communications protocols, to domestic home care systems and intracellular signalling transduction pathways that contribute to diseases such as cancer. She has collaborated with scientists and engineers from a wide range of disciplines, from Electrical and Aerospace Engineering, to Cancer and Cardiovascular  medicine.

She has been an academic at Glasgow University for over 20 years, and previously worked at the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh.  She has had collaborations with many world-leading companies and in the distant past she was a research fellow at BT Research Laboratories and at DEC (Digital Equipment Corp) Research Labs in California.

Previously, she was Head of Department, chair of UKCRC (UK Computing Research Committee), member of EPSRC TOP (Technical Opportunities Panel) and the Scottish Science Advisory Committee, and Senate Assessor on Court. Currently, she is Chair of the BCS Academy of Computing Research Committee and MSc. external examiner at University of Manchester. She is a past external examiner for degrees at the universities of Warwick, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and NUI Cork.

She has a PhD in Computational Science from the University of St. Andrews and a BSc in Computing Science from the University of Stirling. She has over 75 scientific publications and has been awarded 18 external research grants. She has supervised 13 PhD students and nine postdoctoral research assistants.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and was awarded the OBE for service to Computer Science in 2011.

For more information contact Ross Barker in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 8593 or email

First published: 14 February 2012