The evolving role of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Cabinet, 1940–71
in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79
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This chapter charts the evolving role of the Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) to the Cabinet Office of the British Government – from its unaccountable inception under Churchill through to interim termination of the role by the Conservative government led by Edward Heath. The respective personalities, skills, scientific interests, politics, and expectations of each GCSA ensured that, unlike any other definitive role in government, the GCSA job description remained fluid. It was the fundamental flexibility of the GCSA role which enabled respective GSCAs to adapt to contemporary conditions, and advise on how to best solve the issues faced by the respective governments of the mid-to-late twentieth century


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