Swapping log-books for legislation

Research ship
Dr Carol Cotterill from the British Geological Survey (BGS) will be swapping log-books for legislation when she visits Christine Jardine MP at the House of Commons for a week in Westminster. The week (26 - 30 November) is part of a unique pairing scheme run by the Royal Society – the UK’s national academy of science, with support from the Government Science & Engineering (GSE) profession.

During her visit, Carol will shadow Christine Jardine and learn about her work. As well as attending seminars and panel discussions about how evidence is used in policy-making, Dr Cotterill will also attend a mock Select Committee.

The visit will provide Dr Cotterill with a behind the scenes insight into how policy is formed and how her research can be used to make evidence based decisions. It will also give Christine Jardine the opportunity to investigate the science behind her decisions and improve their access to scientific evidence.

Dr Cotterill said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to see the inner workings of policy-makers and parliamentarians. I am hoping to gain a new perspective on how scientific research is used within the creation and revision of policies, and how best to maximise the visibility of scientific research within the political landscape. It will also allow me to highlight the impact of vital research being undertaken within BGS, that supports sustainable growth in both infrastructure and energy developments offshore and onshore”.

The Royal Society’s pairing scheme, which started in 2001, aims to build bridges between parliamentarians, civil servants and some of the best scientists in the UK.

Christine Jardine MP will get hands on experience of ongoing research into offshore renewable ground models when she enters the world of log-books and geological models on visiting Dr Cotterill at the BGS next year.

The Royal Society pairing scheme is in its 18th year. By the end of this year’s scheme, 456 Scientists will have taken part, shadowing a mixture of MPs, Peers, Civil Servants and Select Committee Staff. That is enough Scientists to fill the Green benches in the House of Commons, and still leave 28 standing. Previous politicians who have participated include Michael Gove, Defra Secretary, Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister, Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Caroline Lucas, Co-leader of the Green Party.

Further information about the Royal Society pairing scheme, as well as case studies, can be found at the following link: Royal Society Pairing Scheme.




23 November 2018