The Government has announced that it is abolishing the office of Chief Scientific Adviser.

In a statement it announced that the position would be absorbed into that of Director General of Science Foundation Ireland.

The current incumbent Professor Mark Ferguson will execute both roles.

There has been speculation as to the future of the position since the retirement last August of Professor Patrick Cunningham.

The statement from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said the decision formed part of a wider drive for reform and greater efficiency.

Minister Richard Bruton said the move marked a consolidation of resources in this area and complemented the range of scientific advice that is also available within Government organisations.

The Irish Stem Cell Foundation has issued an statement saying there is a "huge and obvious conflict of interest here".

"Those responsible for developing Irish science policy are now going to be assessing its impact," the foundation added.