Long-serving BBC correspondent David Shukman has been appointed the corporation's first science editor. The new role was created following an independent review of the BBC's science coverage last year. Shukman was one of five people shortlisted for the role, also believed to include Newsnight science editor Susan Watts, BBC environment correspondent Richard Black, BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh and producer and presenter Michael Mosley. Shukman, currently the BBC's environment and science correspondent, has held a number of roles since joining the corporation in 1983, including world affairs correspondent, defence correspondent, and Northern Ireland reporter. He was also the reporter involved in a high-profile libel case in 2001 when a story on BBC1's 10 O'Clock News wrongly linked African diamond company Oryx Natural Resources to Osama Bin Laden. It cost the BBC a reported £500,000 in a libel payout. Shukman said: "It's a privilege to be given this new role as part of the BBC's drive to enhance its science coverage. The science story has never been so compelling and I'm delighted to be given this opportunity to lead our reporting and analysis of it." The post was created following an independent review of the BBC's science output which concluded that its drive for impartiality lends too much credence to maverick views on the MMR vaccine, climate change and genetically modified crops. Fran Unsworth, the BBC's head of newsgathering, said: "I'm delighted to appoint David as science editor. "His ability to make complex scientific issues accessible will be a great asset in this new role and ensure that our audiences get the most out of the BBC's science coverage."