Henrik C. Wegener of the Technical University of Denmark is among the leading scientists appointed to a new high-level scientific advice group for the European Union.

The European Commission has announced the 7 leading scientists that will form the high level group at the head of the Commission's new Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM).

The announcement also marks the official launch of the Mechanism itself. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, will oversee the group's work.

“I am delighted that the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) announced by President (Jean-Claude) Juncker just a few months ago is now up and running,” he said. “The support from the scientific community has been tremendous with many eminent scientists coming forward to help. The seven exceptional scientists I have appointed to the group will take the use of independent science advice in Commission policy making to a new level. The European Commission will rely on their independent advice on a range of complex policy issues where high-level scientific input is needed.”

President Juncker and Commissioner Moedas unveiled plans for a new independent scientific advice system at the Commission 6 months ago. The SAM high level group will draw on scientific advice and experience from Member States and around the world by creating a stronger link with national science academies and other bodies. A grant of EUR6 million has also been foreseen for the networks of academies and learned societies as part of the Commission's Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016.

Among the experts appointed to SAM is Henrik C. Wegener, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer and Provost at the Technical University of Denmark, whose background is in food safety, zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging infectious diseases.

Wegener was director of the National Food Institute, DTU from 2006-2011 and before that head of the Department of Epidemiology and Risk Assessment at National Food and Veterinary Research Institute, Denmark (2004-2006). From 1994-1999, he was director of the Danish Zoonosis Centre, and from 1999-2004 professor of zoonosis epidemiology at Danish Veterinary Institute. He was stationed at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva from 1999-2000. With more than 3.700 citations, he is the author of over 150 scientific papers in journals, research monographs and proceedings. He has served as advisor and reviewer to national and international authorities and governments, international organizations and private companies, universities and research foundations, and he has served, and is presently serving, on several national and international committees and boards on food safety, veterinary public health and research policy. He has received several awards, including the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics International Leadership Award in 2003.

Other SAM members are Janusz Bujnicki, Pearl Dykstra, Elvira Fortunato, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Julia Slingo and Cédric Villani.