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Young Academy member questions MPs at Voices of the Future

Siobhán O’Connor, a lecturer from the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University, represented the Young Academy of Scotland and the Royal Society of Edinburgh recently at Voices of the Future 2018. This event offered young research leaders the opportunity to discuss the future of science policy in the UK with senior political figures at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

The annual platform is organised by the Royal Society of Biology and provides early careers researchers with insights and influence into the policy translation process. They get to voice their questions and discuss burning scientific policy issues with key political figures. On 13th March 2018, the Voices of the Future event was held at Portcullis House and streamed live on Parliament TV. It will be broadcast live on BBC Parliament on Saturday 17th March 2018 at 18:00. This provided Siobhán and other young research leaders from across the UK the chance to delve into the complexities of key science policy issues.

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YAS scientists visit politicians in Westminster

YAS members Silvia Paracchini and Paul Hoskisson are spending a week in Westminster, shadowing parliamentarians and civil servants at the House of Commons. The week (04 – 07 December) is part of a unique pairing scheme run by the Royal Society – the UK’s national academy of science, with support from the Government Science & Engineering (GSE) profession.

During their visit Silvia is shadowing Stephen Gethins MP and Paul is shadowing Javier Igartua, an economic advisor to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs. As well as attending seminars and panel discussions about how evidence is used in policy making, Silvia and Paul will also attend a mock Select Committee.

The visit provides scientists with a behind the scenes insight into how policy is formed and how research can be used to make evidence based decisions. It also gives parliamentarians and civil servants the opportunity to investigate the science behind their decisions and improve their access to scientific evidence.

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YAS Member to give schools' talk on left-handedness at Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition

On 7 and 8 July, YAS member Dr Silvia Paracchini will give a schools-only interactive talk at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition.  Her talk will address what determines hand preference, exploring some of the many traits that throughout history have been associated with being left handed.  Dr Paracchini will separate myths from facts about handedness, and explain what is being learned from the most important modern genetic studies.

The talk is 30 minutes long, and is available only to pre-registered school groups.  There are several time slots available between 7 and 8 July.  For more information and to register a group, please visit the Royal Society website.

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Science Questions at Westminster:Our report from Voice of the Future 2016

Five YAS members [Stella Chan, Duncan Forgan, Patrick Harkness, Neil McLennan, and Subramanian Ramamoorthy] Tuesday joined young scientists from significant UK Science organisations to question MPs about the science issues that matter to us.

At the annual Voice of the Future event, young scientists take committee seats in Westminster Room, while MPs from the Select Committee on Science and Technology take the witness seats.  This reversal of the normal select committee format aims to engage young scientists in the political process, as well as emphasising the importance of evidence-based decision making in government.

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YAS Members participate in Voice of the Future 2016 to question MPs about science

Members of the Young Academy of Scotland today are joining young scientists from across the UK to question MPs about the science issues that matter to them.

At the annual Voice of the Future event, young scientists take committee seats in Westminster's Boothroyd Room, while MPs from the Select Committee on Science and Technology take the witness seats.  This reversal of the normal select committee format aims to engage young scientists in the political process, as well as emphasising the importance of evidence-based decision making in government.

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Our Members

Dr Murray Collins is Chancellor’s Fellow in Data Driven Innovation – Space and Satellite Analysis at the University of Edinburgh. He analyses satellite data for ecosystem monitoring, with a focus on mapping tropical forests and deforestation. He has worked across SE Asia (Cambodia, Sulawesi, Sumatra), and west/central Africa (Gabon and Sierra Leone), undertaking forest surveys and mapping.

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