Policy Lates, November 2012
The first in our Policy Lates series, this debate asked whether there should be more scientists in Parliament. Chi Onwurah MP chaired the debate between Dr Jenny Rohn, Dr Evan Harris, Dr Jack Stilgoe and Dr Phillip Lee MP. For more information see: http://www.societyofbiology.org/policy/policy-events/policylates
The Society of Biology organised Parliamentary Links Day 2012 on behalf of the scientific community to strengthen dialogue with Parliament, and to provide MPs with a more rounded understanding of the scientific issues we face. This is an annual event that takes place at Westminster, bringing together scientists, learned societies and Members of Parliament. The 2012 theme was ‘Science and Sport’.
The Society of Biology and the British Library collaborated to host a TalkScience Event on the inclusion of the ‘impact’ of scientific research as an element of evalusation for the new Research Excellence Framework.
This panel discussion was chaired by William Cullerne Bown (Founder and Publisher of Research Fortnight) with: Professor Douglas Kell (Chief Executive of the BBSRC), Professor Nick Tyler CBE (Head of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, UCL), Professor Geraint Rees (Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL) and Chris Hale (Deputy Director of Policy at Universities UK).
More information on the British Library TalkScience series: http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/experthelp/science/talkscience/talkscience.html
The Society of Biology hosted a ‘Standing up for Science’ media workshop in collaboration with Sense About Science. The workshop was attended by 40 early career researchers, who hear from a panel of scientists who have communicated their science through the media, and learn from journalists about how they approach reporting. Dr Gia Arradottir from Rothamsted Research shared her most recent media experience following her and her colleagues' appeal to protestors to not destroy their GM wheat field trial. She was joined on the panel by Professor Malcolm Sperrin and Dr Deirdre Hollingsworth.
Podcast from Rebecca Nesbit, Press Officer at the Society of Biology. She interviewed panellists to hear their tips on how to get your stories into the news, and how to prepare for interviews with journalists. The speakers included scientists, journalists and press officers, and they were all keen to work together to ensure science is reported accurately and reaches a wide audience. Listen to hear their views!
More about the Sense About Science workshops: http://www.senseaboutscience.org/pages/about-the-workshops.html
Workshop for Economists and Ecologists: Forging interdisciplinary links to inform public policy, May 2012
The Natural Capital Initiative organised a workshop to encourage greater interdisciplinary working and knowledge exchange between economists and ecologists, with the goal of informing public policy. The chosen case study theme was sustainable agriculture.
The workshop was chaired by Peter Costigan (Defra), keynote speakers were Professor Ian Bateman (CSERGE, University of East Anglia) and Professor William Sutherland (Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge). Professor Tim Benton (University of Leeds), Dr Salvatore Di Falco (London School of Economics), Professor Charles Godfray (University of Oxford) and Dr Paul Morling (Royal Society for Protection of Birds) were panellists in debate around the most pressing issues for agriculture in the UK.
For more information on the Natural Capital Initiative see: http://www.naturalcapitalinitiative.org.uk/
The Society of Biology organised, on behalf of the science and engineering community, this unique opportunity for young scientists and engineers, including A-level students, to participate in a Science Question Time with Members of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science & Technology. Rt. Hon David Willetts MP, Chi Onwurah MP, Andrew Miller MP and members of the Science and Technology Select Committee were quizzed by young people in the first event of its kind.
Early day motion 2851; Voice of the Future 2012
Watch the event in full here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/news/voice-of-the-future-2012/
The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee ran the SET for Britain 2012 in collaboration with the Society of Biology, The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, The Royal Society of Chemistry, the Physiological Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Society of Chemical Industry.
The SET for BRITAIN competition is designed to support and promote British scientists, engineers and technologists in the early stages of their careers. Many will become Britain's leaders in science and technology, and their work is vital for our economy.
Young scientists presented posters about their research to MPs and expert judges at the House of Commons. There was a 2 hour judging session for the Biological Sciences included posters on topics as diverse as treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy and disease in British birds.