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From Lab Bench to Greenbench

02 Rhagfyr 2013

Dr Adam Glen from Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry has been chosen to participate in a unique pairing scheme run by the Royal Society, designed to bridge the divide between parliamentarians and the UK’s top scientists.

A visit this week to the House of Commons will see Dr Glen shadowing Ms Jenny Willott MP as part of the ‘Week in Westminster’ scheme. The scheme is an opportunity for MPs to become better informed about science issues and for scientists to understand how they can influence science policy.

During his visit, Dr Glen will shadow Ms Willott MP and learn about her work and will later attend Prime Minister’s Question Time. He will also meet with Professor David MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The visit will provide Dr Glen with a behind-the-scenes insight into how science policy is formed as well as an understanding of the working life of an MP.

So far, over 200 pairs of scientists and MPs have taken part in the scheme since it was launched in 2001. Dr Glen spoke of the opportunities the partner scheme will bring: "Building links between MPs and research scientists will facilitate scientist’s understanding of the challenges when forming governmental policy and give MPs a window into the scientific world. This scheme will be of benefit for both parties involved and ultimately facilitate good scientific policy, something which I am very exciting to be part of."

Jenny Willott MP said:

"I am delighted to be taking part in the Royal Society pairing scheme again this year. It provides an invaluable opportunity to build links and understanding between MPs and world-leading scientists: important not just to ensure good government policy directly relating to science, but also to promote sensible, evidence-based decision-making more broadly."

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society said:

"We live in a world facing increasing challenges that can only be addressed with a clear understanding of science. From climate change to influenza outbreaks, GM food to nuclear power, our MPs have to make decisions about complex issues that will affect the lives of all those in the UK and, in many cases, more widely throughout the world. This means that MPs and scientists have a responsibility to engage with each other to get the best possible scientific advice into public policy making.

"We set up the Royal Society’s MP Scientist pairing scheme in 2001 to provide the opportunity for MPs and scientists to build long-term relationships with each other and have now organised over two hundred pairings.

"I know many parliamentarians and scientists who have gained from the scheme, and the shaping of public policy can only improve over time as these relationships continue to grow."


Notes to Editors:

1. Further information about the Royal Society Pairing Scheme, as well as case studies, can be found at the following link:

2. The Royal Society is the UK’s national academy of science. Founded in 1660, the Society has three roles, as a provider of independent scientific advice, as a learned Society, and as a funding agency. Our expertise is embodied in the Fellowship, which is made up of the finest scientists from the UK and beyond. Our goals are to:

· Invest in future scientific leaders and in innovation

· Influence policymaking with the best scientific advice

· Invigorate science and mathematics education

· Increase access to the best science internationally

· Inspire an interest in the joy, wonder and excitement of scientific discovery

For further information please visit Follow the Royal Society on Twitter at or on Facebook at .

Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.

For further information about the Royal Society contact:

Nicola Kane

Press and Public Relations

Tel: 020 7451 2508