We are very pleased to announce that David Willetts will take up the post of Chair of the BSA from September 2015.

Willetts, who served as the Minister for Universities and Science from 2010 to 2014, won widespread acclaim for supporting the UK’s science sector. He will be taking the reins as the BSA continues on its mission to promote science as a fundamental part of the UK’s culture and society.

Willetts served as the Member of Parliament for Havant from 1992 to March 2015. His roles included positions at the Treasury, the Number 10 Policy Unit, Paymaster General, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities & Skills. As Science Minister he successfully made the case for protecting science and research funding. He is also author of the successful and thought-provoking book, The Pinch: How Baby-Boomers Took Their Children’s Future – and Why They Should Give it Back

Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the BSA, said: "I'm delighted that David has agreed to join us; it is a terrific coup for the Association to have him on board as Chair. I think it is testament to the energy and excitement gathering as we move ahead with the new vision of the BSA, to position science at the heart of society and culture.

“During his time as Science Minister, David won plaudits for being proactive on everything from open access, science engagement, space, and science diplomacy. He’s a perfect example of how you can be passionate about science without a formal training, having become a regular at science festivals and conferences.  The staff and Trustees of the British Science Association are very much looking forward to working with him.”

David Willetts said: "This is an exciting time to be joining the Association; a period that we hope will be seen as a vital one in the history and development of this long-establised organisation. I was attracted by Imran’s vision of a cultural shift in how science is seen in our country, as well as the talent, passion and ideas of the team at the BSA, and am looking forward to getting started.”

Willetts takes over from the BSA’s Acting Chair, the biotech entrepreneur Dr Andy Richards, who has been at the helm of the organisation since Dame Julia Goodfellow's five-year term ended in September 2014. The position of Chair is to lead the executive and the trustee board to ensure the BSA is working towards its vision and mission, while the President of the Association is a year-long honorary position. Dame Athene Donald will take up the Presidency in September 2015, with an address at the British Science Festival, succeeding Sir Paul Nurse.  David Willetts’ first Council meeting as Chair of the BSA takes place after the Festival, in late-September 2015.