Taking science to the Scottish parliament

14 Dec 2011

On 9 November 2011, scientists from throughout Scotland congregated at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh for the Science and the Parliament Meeting, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Around 30 organisations and 300 delegates were in attendance and the evening exhibition allowed plenty of time for networking. The SCI Scotland group were on hand with our stand, which was looked after by chairman Russell Howe, new student members Shona Rhydderch and Eva Beukes, and in part by Tom Clarkson, secretary.

Once again the event was well organised and the committee are pleased to continue SCI's involvement in this important event, which gives the scientific community in Scotland the opportunity to interact with MSPs and put forward its views. This year, unsurprisingly, the title was Science and the Economy. In Scotland, the chemicals sector supports 84,000 jobs and generates around £1.3bn in manufacturing exports but as with all sectors has been severely affected by the current downturn.

The plenary speaker was John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth. Speeches from Prof Anne Glover (Chief Scientific Adviser), Douglas Frazer (BBC journalist), Richard Baker MSP and Stuart McMillan MSP followed. Breakout sessions focusing on the economy, climate change and education were held, and just before the close of the formal part of the event, Prof Alice Brown talked about women in STEM subjects.

Thomas Clarkson

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