Sir Patrick Vallance to become the Natural History Museum’s next Chairman of the Board of Trustees

The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, will become the next Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Natural History Museum.

Sir Patrick is expected to join the Board in October 2022 before taking over as Chairman in early 2023.

The Board of Trustees is made up of 12 members, and is responsible for overseeing the management of the Museum.

Becoming a household name during his role advising the UK Government during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sir Patrick has had a long career in industry, academia and science communication.

Starting out in medical research and becoming a Professor of Medicine at University College London, Sir Patrick’s early aspirations were to become a palaeontologist.

Sir Patrick Vallance says, ‘I have loved the Museum since first visiting as a young child. It inspired me to pursue a career in science and continues to inspire wonder in visitors of all ages as well as being a world leading scientific research institute.

‘I am hugely looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to its continuing success.’

As the current Government Chief Scientific Adviser providing scientific advice to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and members of the cabinet, Sir Patrick is well known for appearing alongside Johnson and Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Witty during the televised briefings on COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary, says: ‘Sir Patrick Vallance has been an extraordinary, dedicated servant to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic. He is an excellent appointment by the Natural History Museum. He will bring a wealth of experience to help the museum take its important work forward and inspire more people from all backgrounds to pursue an interest in natural history.’

In his role as an adviser for the Government, he was also heavily involved in the COP26 climate negotiations, which occurred in Glasgow in November 2021.

In addition, Sir Patrick also leads the Net Zero Innovation Board, which provides strategic oversight of Government funding of net zero innovation programmes.

Dr Douglas Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, says ‘The Natural History Museum is well known as a much-loved visitor attraction but is also a world-leading scientific research centre working on solutions for the planetary emergency – from biodiversity loss to climate change.

‘We are thrilled that Sir Patrick will be joining to drive forward our mission of creating advocates for the planet and building a world in which both people and planet can thrive.’

Sir Patrick is expected to take over the role as Chairman from The Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint near the start of 2023.