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SCI announces support for Huxley Summit 2017

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17 Oct 2017

SCI is delighted to announce it will be supporting this year’s Huxley Summit, which takes place on 29 November at the Royal Institution, London. The Summit brings together business leaders, scientists, and senior policymakers to discuss the challenges of creating innovations with the acceptance and trust of the public.

Lord David Willetts, Chair of the British Science Association, introduced the theme of this year’s Summit: ‘The Will of the People? Science and Innovation in a Post-Truth World’ at a launch event in London.

Building on 2016’s inaugural Huxley Summit theme of trust in science, Lord Willetts highlighted the key areas of focus for the 2017 event – GM crops, big data, and artificial intelligence – all areas where public trust, perception and ethical debates play a major role in their development for the benefit of society. 

Speaking at the launch event, Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, made clear that the UK will rely ever more on its innovation as the country’s exporting talents become essential to its success in a post-Brexit world.

‘What you need, of course, is something that sells, and I think that's where science and business come together, because the two are necessary for creating something that people can get on a plane, go to India, China, South America and sell and help the economy and those businesses grow. I think it's vital that science and business work together in a way that they probably haven't really done in the past.’

The financial sector, too, must be aware and involved with developments, as he illustrated. ‘The insurance industry is one of the biggest industries in the City, and they're going to have to work out a way of dealing with driverless vehicles, so it's vital that businesses like ours are part of this discussion.’

Speakers at the Huxley Summit include David Croft, Sustainable Development Director for Diageo; journalist Evan Davis; Dame Ottoline Leyser, Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory and Professor of Plant Development at the University of Cambridge; and MP Chi Onwurah, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation. 

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