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Voice of the Future - Tamsin Bell

last modified Mar 22, 2016 05:08 PM
Voice of the Future - Tamsin Bell

Tamsin Bell (photo courtesy of Royal Society of Biology)

On 1st March 2016, Tamsin Bell represented the Royal Society at the Voice of the Future Event organised annually by the Royal Society of Biology. This event gives early career scientists representing 20 academic institutions the opportunity to go to Parliament to ask MPs, Minsters and government advisers questions about science policy whilst sitting around the horseshoe. There were four sessions in total, with witnesses including Sir Mark Walport (Government Chief Scientific Adviser), Nicola Blackwood MP and Select Committee on Science and Technology Colleagues, Jo Johnson MP (Minister for Universities and Science) and Yvonne Fovargue MP (Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills).

Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser (photo courtesy of Royal Society of Biology)

Tamsin Bell is a PhD student here in the Process Integration group. She said, "Prior to the event, we submitted questions to ask the witness and upon arrival I was pleased to find out that I would be sitting in the horseshoe during the first session to ask my question about the publication of negative results to the Government Chief Scientific Adviser".

There was a diverse range of topics discussed, including antibiotic resistance, animal testing, misleading reporting of science in the media, gender diversity in STEM subjects and the effect of "Brexit" on scientific innovation in the UK.

A highlight of the day was receiving a recorded message from Major Tim Peak at the International Space Station. This was the first time in history that the International Space Station addressed parliament. Tim believes that "in the not too distant future, human space flight will become as routine as commercial aviation is today".

Tamsin added, "The day was very informative and provided me with an insight into the intricacies of the problems faced by politicians, as well as the role of Select Committee hearings for evidence based policy making".

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