Chief Science Advisor, New Zealand
Professor Sir Peter Gluckman KNZM FRSNZ FMedSci FRS
Sir Peter trained in Dunedin, Auckland and San Francisco as a pediatrician with an interest in endocrinology. In 1980 he returned to New Zealand to develop a large research group focused on developmental endocrinology and neuroscience to address issues of human growth and development. In 1991 he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. In 2001 he founded the multidisciplinary Liggins Institute in the belief that New Zealand must have critical masses of scientists doing world-class research. The Institute focused on how does a poor start to life impact on health and non-communicable disease risk throughout life? He remains active as a researcher in epigenetics and evolutionary biology. From 2004 to 2009 he was the founder director of one of the seven Centres of Research Excellence in New Zealand, the National Research Centre for Growth and Development (NRCGD). In 2007 he took on a part-time role to assist the development of the newly formed Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences and he continue in this part-time role as its chief scientific officer. He holds honorary academic positions in the University of Southampton and the National University of Singapore and the Catholic University of Chile.
Sir Peter has published over 700 scientific papers and reviews, several academic textbooks and several books on the origins of obesity written to be publically accessible. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1986, conferred a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in 1997 and a Knighthood in 2009. In 2001 he was awarded New Zealand’s highest scientific award, the Rutherford Medal. He has received numerous other scientific awards nationally and internationally. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 2001, a foreign member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (USA)(2004) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences UK (2006). In 2014 he was appointed by the Director General of WHO as co-chair of the Commission to End Childhood Obesity.
In 2009 he was appointed the first Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and special Science Envoy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has written extensively on the practice of scientific advice to governments and is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London. He is a member of the advisory group to the STI directorate of the OECD. He chairs the APEC group of chief science advisors and equivalents and chaired the first international meeting on science advice to governments in Auckland in August 2014 under the auspices of ICSU and chairs the planning group for the development of the associated academic and professional network.