Young researchers display our future to UK politicians

14 March 2011

Today, Monday 14 March, sees 180 of the country’s leading early-stage career researchers descend on Parliament to bring politics and science closer together.

SET for Britain – a competition in the House of Commons which involves researchers displaying posters of their work to panels of expert judges – will be visited by more than 100 MPs, to help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science base.

Andrew Miller MP, Chair of both the competition’s organising committee and the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee, says, “SET for Britain is a key event in the political calendar for parliamentarians wanting to be informed and enlightened by the incredible progress being made by scientists and engineers in the UK.

“I have no doubt that every politician from both Houses can benefit from the accumulated wisdom, and pure enthusiasm for science and engineering, visiting us today.  Our society faces challenges that only science can solve.  The researchers here today will be the superheroes of the twenty-first century.”

Politicians will have the chance to see and hear about latest research on everything from how sleeping patterns affect the onset of schizophrenia, to the latest in solar cell technology, and the possibility of finding extra dimensions through the Large Hadron Collider experiment. 

Professor Brian Cox, TV star physicist, who is visiting the event to meet the researchers and present the Westminster Medal, awarded to the overall winner, says, “It’s amazing to see the range of work on display, you can’t help but feel assured that science and engineering are going to provide answers to the UK’s most pressing concerns, from climate change to cyber security.

“Most importantly of all, these young researchers will continue to explore nature. Driven by their curiosity and skill, who knows what they will discover?

“Politicians take note; the researchers here today are this country’s future. It is your job to ensure that Britain is the best place in the world for them to continue their research."

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee is running the event in collaboration with The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, The Society of Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry and The Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, E.ON, plantimpact, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, International Agri-Technology Centre Ltd, AgChem Access, Eli Lilly and Oxford Instruments. 

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