Voice of the Future 2015

05/03/2015 - A select group of young scientists were yesterday invited to Portcullis House to question senior UK government figures on science and education policy issues as part of Voice of the Future 2015.

With particular reference to school children, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Mark Walport, stressed early on that "If you stop doing maths, you start closing doors immediately."

Labour MP Andrew Miller, chair of the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee, went on to emphasise how important it was that young scientists of all disciplines engage with such committees, as well as directly with their MPs, to inform them on important scientific issues. He told the young attendees to make sure their visit to Parliament was "not a one off".

"Committees such as this are only as informed as the people who are willing to get involved, who speak to us and get the scientific messages across. You can’t whinge that MPs get things wrong if you haven’t engaged in the process,” he said.

Conservative MP Stephen Metcalfe later told young delegates that a shortcut to getting the attention of an MP on a scientific issue was to make it relevant to their constituents: “MPs face a cacophony of voices on hundreds of issues all the time" he said, before insisting that, "MPs are inherently interested in constituency matters and that is a good way of cutting through that noise.”

Voice of the Future 2015 was broadcast on BBC Parliament and can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer and the STC website.

Voice of the Future is an annual event organised by the Society of Biology. The event includes up to six representatives of the Society of Biology, the Institute of Physics, the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Biochemical Society, the British Pharmacological Society, the Society for Experimental Biology, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society for Applied Microbiology, the Society for Endocrinology, the Geological Society and the Society for General Microbiology.

For more information, please visit www.societyofbiology.org/VOF15