Last week I attended the Voice of the Future event held in Westminster at Portcullis house. Voice of the Future is a great event that allows PhD students and Postdocs to engage with policy makers.
Before the event questions had been submitted by learned societies/members of learned societies to the event organizers. They then selected and altered the questions that would be asked to MPs and Science advisers on the day.
I was lucky enough to submit a question via the Society for General Microbiology and be allowed to ask a question to Greg Clark current Minister for Universities, Science & Cities. The question asked ‘how his parties policies on science differed from the other parties’. He didn’t really answer the question but I can agree with him that there should be a consensus on Science policy across parties to allow a long term strategy to be aimed for. As many working in science are well aware our projects are not normally completed within the space of one government.
Overall it was an interesting educational experience, as it can be difficult to see how to make a difference or get involved in politics and its processes when observing it from the outside. As Scientists many of us are in excellent positions to inform our MPs on the complex scientific evidence surrounding many debate subjects. The message from MPs to ‘just come talk to them’, was made a number of times. I intend to offer support to my MP after the upcoming election as increased engagement will hopefully lead to scientific evidence becoming a stronger deciding factor in politics and will also highlight the presence of the Scientific community within constituencies.
Other topics covered in the session were: equality and diversity, science education, research funding and engagement.
Watch the full event at:
And thank you again the the Society for General Microbiology for the opportunity