Britain's MI5 seeking real 'Q'

April 19, 2009

James Bond always went to Q to keep one step ahead of the enemy with the latest smart gadgets, and now the real-life British spies of MI5 are to get their own technology mastermind.

Britain's domestic , commonly called MI5, is seeking a chief scientific adviser "to lead and co-ordinate the scientific work of the Security Service so that the service continues to be supported by excellent science and advice", its website said.

Applicants must have "world-class scientific expertise and credibility in relevant scientific and technology disciplines", their advertisement read.

"I think it's unlikely that the person will be required to develop a weapons system for the latest Aston Martin," Professor John Beddington, the British government's chief scientific adviser, told the BBC.

However, the successful candidate will help protect Britain against threats to national security by keeping on top of the latest moves in science and technology.

"It will involve a sort of future-gazing to see where technology will be taking us in a year or so," Beddington said.

"There is a really important role in providing scientific and technological advice on addressing problems agents in the field will face."

MI5's chief science adviser would help "to frustrate terrorism, to prevent espionage hurting the UK, protect our critical national infrastructure and to frustrate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"There's an enormous amount of scientific content in this role."

Q's hi-tech knowhow saw fictional overseas spy Bond out of several scrapes thanks to his wealth of new-fangled gadgets.

They included a wrist-mounted dart gun, a leg plaster cast that fires missiles and numerous wacky modifications to Agent 007's Aston Martin cars.

Applications close on Friday.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: UK government launches the IT Security Awareness for Everyone website

Related Stories

ICSU: Widen world's scientific capacities

September 14, 2005

In an unprecedented statement to the U.N. General Assembly, the International Council for Science has urged widening the planet's scientific capacities.

Britain warns of homeopathic risks

December 8, 2007

A top British health official says people who use homeopathic medicines could be causing themselves more harm than good.

Nottingham technology gives Bond the edge

October 30, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Technology developed at The University of Nottingham will be giving James Bond the edge over his enemies when the latest high octane 007 adventure hits cinema screens later this week.

Recommended for you

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

thenamesd
not rated yet Apr 19, 2009
I sooooooo want that job. Sure im not "British", but i do watch BBC news more than any other news cast, and Im also the "first kid(27) on my block" to develop his own automated weapon turret.
Roj
not rated yet Apr 20, 2009
In 1986, while vacationing in London, I'll never forget calling out "Q" after recognizing the actor in public, about a block away from Big Ben. We both exchanged smiles and happily went our ways. Lots of things to love about England in 1986, especially the sophisticated media & sponsor advertising.

If not for the BBC there would be no Public-Service media at all for US savages, who suffer our daily deluge of predatory scams and Public Exploit that sponsor our media.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.