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Science diplomat: Talking to NERC's science director Iain Gillespie

Iain Gillespie, recently appointed as director of science at NERC, tells Adam Smith that he wants the council's science to go global.

Iain Gillespie laughs heartily when he realises he is speaking to someone carrying Adam Smith’s name from the 18th century into the 21st. He explains how his recent thinking on modern-sounding “responsible innovation” draws on the “virtuous debate” between Smith, father of the free-market economy, and his moral philosopher friend David Hume. “If you had David Hume as your middle name that would be a real triple whammy,” he tells me.