From the lab to Whitehall

Today, Dr Lewis Halsey from the University of Roehampton will be swapping the lab for legislation, when he visits the House of Commons for a ‘Week in Westminster’ as part of a unique ‘pairing’ initiative run by the Royal Society –the UK’s national academy of science.

Posted: 2 December 2013

image for news story From the lab to Whitehall
Dr Halsey and Jon Parke at Whitelands.

Dr Halsey, a Senior Lecturer in Comparative and Environmental Physiology will shadow Jon Parke, Head of Foresight Follow-up at the Government Office for Science, to learn about policy-making.

Dr Halsey will attend Science and Technology Committee meetings and meet Professor David MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The visit will provide Dr Halsey with a behind-the-scenes insight into how science policy is formed as well as an understanding of the working life of MPs and civil servants.

Next year, Jon will visit the University of Roehampton’s campus. He will see the university’s state of the art labs; learn more about Dr Halsey’s research and talk to staff and students in the Department of Life Sciences.

The scheme will conclude with MPs, civil servants and scientists invited to the Royal Society to share their experiences and provide feedback. They will participate in workshops and attend an evening reception.

Dr Halsey said: “The Department of Life Sciences is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Jon and his team to develop links and gain first-hand experience of their working practices. Jon and I met last month for an informal chat that was very useful. As scientists, it is invaluable for us have a good understanding of the views and perspectives of policy makers. I look forward to Jon visiting us next year. We’re hoping to showcase some of the current studies being undertaken and get him involved in some of the tests.”

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