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SCI Award at SET for Britain 2010

Oliver de Peyer and Eric Wharton

Former Chairman of the London Group, and a current member of SCI's Board of Trustees, Dr Oliver de Peyer led the London Group's involvement in the SET for Britain series of poster competitions and exhibitions in the House of Commons. The 2010 poster competition took place on 8 March.

How did SCI's London Group become involved with the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee?
ODP: Dr Brian Iddon MP, the current Chair of the Committee, had for many years presented highly successful Parliamentary receptions combined with poster competitions for outstanding early career scientists. These had been organised by Eric Wharton, a former Chairman of SCI London until his untimely death in 2008, and enjoyed great success with over 300 participants annually.

What is SET for Britain?
ODP: SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) for Britain was Eric's company. It is dedicated to running Parliamentary receptions and lobbying for parliamentary engagement about SET in the British economy, and as a career option for young people.

Eric's widow, Sue, and his original staff have worked tirelessly with Brian to restart the receptions in Eric's memory. The result is an all day event, with three separate poster competitions covering chemistry, biological sciences and engineering. Each has a 1st prize of £3000 and a 2nd prize of £1000.

What is the Eric Wharton Memorial Prize?
ODP: The new Eric Wharton Memorial Prize is awarded to the very best poster of all from the entire day, both in terms of the importance of the research and the clarity of its presentation. It is part-funded by SCI's London Group.

Who won this year?
ODP: Julian Rose, a PhD student at the University of Bath, won with his poster GPS, The Sun and Ionospheric Tomography: British Innovation improving GPS integrity, which aims to model and predict ionospheric disturbances to improve GPS accuracy.

Is there scope for other members' involvement?
ODP: If you are an early-career scientist in the UK, then submit your work to the 2011 competition! From what I witnessed at this year's reception, this is an outstanding networking opportunity for young and early career scientists. Visit the organisation's website below.

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