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Research and innovation
News article16 November 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation2 min read

Commissioner Gabriel appoints three new members of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission

Commissioner Gabriel appointed three new members to the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA). Additionally, Nicole Grobert and Sir Paul Nurse have been elected as the new Chair and deputy-Chair of the Group.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

A warm welcome to new members Maarja Kruusmaa, Alberto Melloni and Nebojsa Nakicenovic and my congratulations to Nicole Grobert and Sir Paul Nurse for their election as the new chair and deputy-chair respectively of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. I am looking forward to continue with them the excellent work that the Group has produced under the chairmanship of Chair Rolf Heuer and deputy-chair Pearl Dykstra, who, together with Elvira Fortunato, will leave the group at the end of their mandate.

The three new members were nominated by Research Organisations in response to an open call for nominations and shortlisted by a high level independent Identification Committee. They have been  appointed for three years as of today.

  • Maarja Kruusmaa - Professor of Biorobotics, Vice-rector for Research, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and Visiting professor with Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Alberto Melloni – Professor of History of Christianity at University of Modena/Reggio Emilia, secretary of the Foundation for Religious Studies and Chair Holder of the UNESCO Chair on Religious Pluralism and Peace at the University of Bologna
  • Nebojsa Nakicenovic - Director of The World in 2050 (TWI2050), former Deputy Director General and Acting Director General of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and a former tenured Professor of Energy Economics at Vienna University of Technology

With their broad, collective expertise, the renewed Group of Chief Scientific Advisors will support EU policy makers to ensure better regulation by providing first-class, independent scientific evidence. In particular, they will contribute to the on-going work on the scientific opinions on:

Commissioner Gabriel expressed her gratitude for the excellent work done by the Chief Scientific Advisors whose mandate expired, the chair Rolf Heuer, the deputy chair Pearl Dykstra and Elvira Fortunato and praised the high quality of their contributions over the past five years.


The European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (GCSA) contribute to the quality of EU legislation through the provision of independent scientific advice to the Commission. The Advisors are seven eminent scientists, appointed in their personal capacities and who advise the Members of the European Commission on issues of public interest. The Advisors work closely with the Scientific Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) consortium, which provides a review of all scientific evidence and knowledge at the request of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and which informs the Scientific Opinions adopted by the Advisors. SAPEA associates interdisciplinary expertise from over 100 academies and societies across Europe. A summary of the Advisors’ previous publications and their impact can be found in their February 2020 report, ‘Informing European Commission Policy Making with Scientific Evidence’.


Publication date
16 November 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation