Chief Scientific Officer

Catherine Ross



Chief Scientific Officer
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Catherine Ross is Scotland's Chief Scientific Officer.


The Chief Scientific Officer provides expert, professional advice to ministers and government on all aspects of healthcare science, including where there are impacts relating to the scientific workforce within the NHS in Scotland. This remit covers areas such as education, research and clinical practice.

The Chief Scientific Officer is also responsible for:

  • overseeing the strategic direction for all healthcare scientists (HCS) in Scotland
  • leading on international health issues from a HCS perspective
  • co-chairing the Diagnostic Strategic Network for Scotland
  • strategic oversight and direction for healthcare science policy in Scotland


Catherine is a clinical scientist and has worked in the NHS for over 25 years, having spent most of her clinical career specialising in non-invasive cardiac. She is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Biologist and holds a number of Fellowships, including as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Catherine holds a number of senior leadership positions nationally and internationally, and has served as the President of the Professional Body for Cardiac Scientists. She is the current Vice-Chair of the Science Council, the international awarding body of Chartership in Science, as well as a member of the Science Council Board of Trustees and Chair of the Policy Advisory Committee.

Catherine's professional interests include workforce, professional identity and research – she is an editorial board member of the British Journal of Cardiology and peer reviewer for a number of international scientific journals. She has also led and been involved in a number of STEM initiatives aimed at inspiring children, and in particular girls, to pursue a career in science.

Overview of healthcare science

Healthcare scientists, also known as our scientific workforce, and the clinical services that they lead encompass over fifty areas of scientific and clinical expertise These areas span pathology and laboratory services, physiological sciences, medical physics and clinical engineering and data science. The scientific workforce are involved in all areas of the patient pathway from primary prevention, diagnostics through to rehabilitation services and impact 75% clinical decision in the patient journey, contributing to over 80% of all diagnostics.

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