Sir Patrick plans to join the board in October 2022 and take over as chairman in early 2023.
Mr Patrick Vallance says: “I have loved the museum since my first visit as a young child. It inspired me to pursue a career in science and continues to inspire visitors of all ages while being a leading scientific research institute in the world. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to its continued success.”
He brings to the Museum a wealth of experience in industry, academia and science communication. Among his many achievements is his leadership of the Government’s Office for Science, a role in which he advised the Prime Minister and Cabinet on critical scientific issues – notably around understanding the risks and mitigating Covid-19 and the prioritization of vaccine development from the onset of the pandemic. He served as Chief Scientific Advisor to COP26 and leads the Net Zero Innovation Board for Government.
Dr Douglas Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, said: “The Natural History Museum is well known as a much-loved tourist attraction, but is also a world-leading center for scientific research working on solutions to the planetary emergency – from biodiversity loss to climate change. We are thrilled to have Sir Patrick join us in advancing our mission to create Defenders of the Planet and build a world where people and the planet can thrive.”
The appointment was made by the Board of Directors of the Natural History Museum and approved by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport following a recruitment process open, transparent and robust in accordance with OCPA guidelines.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries says: “Sir Patrick Vallance has been an extraordinary and dedicated servant to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic. It is an excellent nomination by the Natural History Museum. He will bring a wealth of experience to help the museum advance its important work and inspire more people from all walks of life to take an interest in natural history.“
Hilary Newiss, Director and Chair of the Nominating Committee said: “Trustees were looking for proven leadership, excellent communication skills, a commitment to inclusion, and a passion for the museum’s educational, scientific, and cultural role. Patrick was an exceptional candidate and we are delighted to welcome him to the board.”
Sir Patrick was President, R&D at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from 2012 to 2017. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery and Development. During his time at the helm of R&D, many new drugs were discovered and approved for use around the world, for diseases ranging from cancer, immune diseases and asthma to HIV and bacterial infections. resistant.
Prior to joining GSK, he was a clinical academic, professor of medicine and head of the medicine division at UCL. He has many years of basic and clinical research experience and was a consultant physician to the NHS. His personal research ranged from work in medicinal chemistry and structural biology to cellular work, studies in humans, and the use of large databases of electronic health records to explore cardiovascular disease.
He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999 and to the Royal Society in 2017.
Notes for Editors
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About the Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is both a world-renowned scientific research center and the most visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which people and the planet thrive, he is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing the needs of humanity with those of the natural world.
It is the custodian of one of the most important scientific collections in the world comprising more than 80 million specimens. The breadth of this collection allows researchers around the world to document how species have responded and continue to respond to environmental change – which is essential to help predict what might happen in the future and inform policy and future plans to help the planet.
The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research on all aspects of the natural world. Their science provides essential data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the main threats of climate change and biodiversity loss to the search for solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.
The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to fulfill its mission to create Earth Defenders – to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome more than five million visitors each year; our digital production reaches hundreds of thousands of people in more than 200 countries every month and our traveling exhibitions have been seen by approximately 30 million people over the past 10 years.