From lab bench to Westminster
2 December 2013
Dr Emma Stone, a Research Associate in the School of Geographical Sciences, will visit Alan Pitt, secretary to the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, at the House of Commons as part of the Royal Society's pairing scheme.
Dr Stone, who studies climate and sea-level change in the past, will shadow her civil servant pair and learn about his work, as well as meeting Professor David MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The visit will provide her with a behind-the-scenes insight into how science policy is formed as well as an understanding of the working life of MPs and civil servants. Alan Pitt will make a reciprocal visit to the University in January.
Dr Stone said: ‘It is becoming increasingly important that specialised scientific information is correctly disseminated to politicians and the general public. I relish the opportunity to observe how policy makers interpret our research. I am sure participating in the pairing scheme will give me an insight into these processes and how I can adapt my science communication skills to provide a better link between all relevant stakeholders.’
The Royal Society’s Pairing Scheme aims to build bridges between parliamentarians, civil servants and some of the best scientists in the UK. It is an opportunity for civil servants to become better informed about science issues and for scientists to understand how they can influence science policy. Since 2001 over 200 scientists have been paired with MPs and civil servants.