Chief Scientific Officer
Professor Sheila Rowan MBE was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland in June 2016. This is a part-time position within the Scottish Government. Sheila also remains Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, a position she has held since 2009. She received an MBE in 2011.
As CSA Scotland, Sheila champions the use of science to inform policy development. She works closely with the Scottish Science Advisory Council, of which she is an ex officio member, to help ensure that the Scottish Government has access to the best scientific advice to inform its work across all policy areas. The CSA is also a keen advocate – across Scotland and further afield – of our world-leading science base, and its potential to benefit our economy, people and environment.
Sheila’s research is targeted at developing optical materials for use in gravitational wave detectors, and her recent work has been a crucial part of the Advanced LIGO upgrades, carried out between 2010 and 2015, that contributed to one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century: the first detection of gravitational waves announced in February 2016. This resulted in a share of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her and the members of her team in Glasgow.