18 Nov 2016
The 16th annual Science and the Parliament event, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, took place on 9 Nov 2016 at Our Dynamic Earth Science Centre, in Edinburgh. Members of SCI’s Scotland Group Committee attended in order to promote SCI and Scotland Group events.
The focus for the event was ‘Science Education’ and more than 150 delegates from schools, colleges and universities across Scotland were present along with representatives from a variety of professions including business, science and politics. In addition to the excellent content of the event, it provided an ideal networking opportunity given the wide range of organisations represented.
The event comprised various plenary and breakout sessions as well as panel discussions. Members of all the main political parties participated in discussions throughout the day.
Delegates were welcomed to the event by Ken Mackintosh MSP (Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament) followed by an opening speech by Professor Sir John Holman (President of the Royal Society of Chemistry).
Plenary speakers included Professor Sheila Rowan (Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser) and John Swinney MSP (Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills). Members of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Committee (STEMEC) discussed the recent STEMEC report outlining recommendations for enhancing STEM education in Scotland.
Additional plenary sessions focused on teacher recruitment and retention, the importance of STEM subjects in the school curriculum, how Scotland compares to other nations in STEM education and how education can prepare students with the appropriate breadth of skills for future employment.
Breakout sessions provided ideal opportunities for discussion of a wide range of themes including gender and STEM, interdisciplinary learning, the role of local authorities and the resourcing of science.
The day concluded with the awarding of prizes for academic excellence from the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology, Institute of Physics and Royal Scottish Society of Arts to school students from across Scotland.
Final remarks by Professor Polly Arnold (Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh) were followed by a networking reception and exhibition involving scientific societies, academic institutions and professional bodies which provided an ideal platform to promote the work of SCI and SCI activities.
For further information on upcoming SCI Scotland Group events, please click on the link below. Meet the Scotland Group at their next event – Day of Science and Careers Scotland 2017 (coming Spring 2017 – further details available soon).
Dr Sarah Walker and Dr Jan Ramakers, SCI Scotland Group Committee