Monday, 25 June, saw the opening of the first ever ‘Evidence Week’ in the Houses of Parliament. Organised by Sense About Science in association with House of Commons Library, House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, POST – Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and SAGE Publishing, the idea was to hold a week full of events, masterclasses and other sessions to help bring the public and parliamentarians into discussion about the use of evidence in public life.
How would politicians cope being quizzed by a room full of young scientists and engineers? That’s what I sought to find out when I travelled to Westminster to take part in Voice of the Future 2018. This event, organised by the Royal Society of Biology and in its seventh iteration, is unique in its reversing of a Select Committee meeting, where MPs hold experts and government ministers to account in various areas of policy. At Voice of the Future, it is the MPs who are questioned so that we, the scientific community, can gain a better understanding of the world of policy and their views on UK science. Can we change their opinions? Can they change ours?
By Dr Andrew Quigley, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford
“Voice of the Future is a very unusual event” says Dr Stephen Benn, Director of Parliamentary Affairs at the Royal Society of Biology. There is no event quite like it anywhere else in Parliament, possibly the world. How often do young representatives of professional bodies get the opportunity to sit in for a Parliamentary Committee and question MPs about science policy issues that matter to them? But that is exactly the chance that I and 50 other young scientists and engineers were given. Continue reading “Voice of the Future 2017: young scientists question MPs and Ministers”