Image Credit: STEM4Brit
A day in Parliament: Kate Oliver, STEM Finalist 2018
On the 12th of March I went to Parliament, for the second time in my life, this time accompanied by a rolled up piece of A1 paper. I was going to ‘the major event bringing early career researchers and parliamentarians together’, STEM for Britain*.
This poster session, now in its 21st year following its founding by Eric Wharton MP, invites around 50 exhibitors in each of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Engineering and Biological sciences to explain their work to the employees of Parliament and a panel of expert judges. Five of us from Bristol had been selected to present – around a third of applications are successful – all in different categories, and we had been preparing our two-minute pitches for a few weeks, with the help of our supervisors, university support staff, and patient friends. Continue reading
Cressida Auckland, a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) Fellow
Chandy Nath, acting Director of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
What could Brexit mean for UK science? What impact will it have on UK fisheries? Could Brexit be bad news for emissions reductions? These were just some questions discussed at a Parliamentary conference last week, organised by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), the Commons Library and Parliament’s Universities Outreach team.
MPs researchers, Parliamentary staff and academic researchers from across the country came together to consider some of the key policy areas affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
The referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU is fast approaching and as the debate intensifies, science is a topic that remains very much overlooked, despite its importance to the UK economy.
I have recently begun to consider the scientific relationship that Britain has with the EU and how UK science may be affected if we choose to leave. This relationship is not trivial, according to OECD figures the EU produces around 1.7 million scientists, which is more than either China (1.5 million) or the US (1.3 million).
To facilitate this each member state contributes towards a fund called Horizon 2020, which the European Research Council (ERC) distributes to research and infrastructure projects. The expected budget of Horizon 2020 from 2014-2020 is over €80bn, an increase from the previous incarnation called Framework Programme 7 which had a budget of €53bn from 2007-2013. For projects involving international collaborations a single application to the ERC is required removing the need for separate applications to national funding agencies.
The UK received €8.8bn under Framework Programme 7 from 2007-13, amounting to 3% of total research spending. This may seem small however it is just shy of charity-funded research (5%) and is typically viewed as a main source of funding for biomedical research. The UK is highly competitive in obtaining funding as it is currently awarded the greatest number of grants under Horizon 2020, and achieved the second greatest number under Framework Programme 7.
Credit – JISC, Creative Commons