Scott holds a PhD in environmental chemistry from the University of California, Davis. He first joined the University of Toronto as a faculty member in 1995 and became director of the Analytical Laboratory for Environmental Science Research and Teaching in 1997. Scott served as associate chair undergraduate for one year and then chair of the department of chemistry from 2003 until he was appointed to the position of vice-provost, Academic Operations, on July 1, 2009.
Scott was appointed as vice-president, University Operations, on January 1, 2012. Portfolios reporting to him include Information Technology Services, Facilities and Services, Ancillary Services, Office of Planning and Budget, University Planning Design and Construction, encompassing Campus and Facilities Planning, Project Development, Project Management, Design and Engineering, Leasing, Academic and Campus Events and the Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
His current research interests are primarily in the environmental chemistry of fluorinated chemicals. He and his group have written extensively on the environmental fate, disposition and persistence of agrochemicals, industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Scott and his students have published over 180 scientific papers in refereed journals and have presented research at conferences, workshops and seminars all over the world.
He has been ranked as one of the world's most highly-cited researchers. He joined the list of 3,000 researchers who earned this distinction in 2014. This ranks him in the top one per cent of scientists as evidenced by the number of times his papers and research have been cited.
Scott spends weekends on his Northumberland County farm growing soybeans, wheat, corn and, this year, canola.