MPs and peers focus on science for a day

26 June 2014

IOP president Frances Saunders and IOP Publishing’s editorial director, Nicola Gulley, were among the speakers to address MPs and peers at a Parliamentary Links Day in Westminster on 24 June.

Houses of Parliament

The event is held annually to further the understanding of science, engineering and scientific issues among MPs and peers and this year’s theme was “Science and Public Trust”. The IOP was among 18 learned societies active in science, engineering or maths who lent their support to the day, which is organised on behalf of the science and engineering community.

Saunders stressed the importance of maintaining relationships between scientists and parliamentarians as the UK approaches a general election in 2015 and a referendum on Scottish independence in September this year. Other speakers included the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Mark Walport, shadow minister for universities, science and skills, Liam Byrne, and the president of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse.

 Saunders also spoke at the Women’s Engineering Society 95th anniversary conference on 23 June, detailing the IOP’s work on countering gender stereotyping and improving the take-up of physics among girls. Saunders, who was accompanied by the IOP’s curriculum and diversity manager pre-19, Clare Thomson, outlined the data on girls and physics in schools in the IOP’s reports It’s Different for Girls and Closing Doors, and how the IOP is addressing the issues. She said the talk had stimulated additional interest in both the statistics that the IOP has used and its programmes with girls in physics.