SEB Represented at Voice of the Future 2017

27 Mar 2017 - By: SEB

A question of politics

Caroline Wood and Swati Puranik at Voice of the Future 2017
Caroline Wood and Swati Puranik at Voice of the Future 2017

Two of SEB’s young members took part in this year’s ‘Voice of the Future’, held in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 15 March 2017. Organised by the Royal Society of Biology, this annual event provides an opportunity for early career members of learned societies, such as SEB, to pose their questions to top UK politicians and policy makers.

Questions covered a whole range of issues including equality initiatives in science, the funding gap between the north and the south of the country, the science policies of the Trump administration, and the effects of Brexit on British science. 

PhD student, Caroline Wood (University of Sheffield), pitched her question to Chi Onwurah MP on how Brexit may affect the freedom of movement and information that are vital for Britain’s position as a research leader. The member for Newcastle Central responded in support of the United Kingdom’s single market membership, highlighting the need for continued data flow between Europe and the UK: “I believe very strongly that we should remain in the single market and support the freedom of movement within Europe,” said Ms Onwurah.

Swati Puranik
Swati Puranik pitched her question to Prof Sir Mark Walport. Photo: Royal Society of Biology.

Postdoctoral researcher, Swati Puranik (Aberystwyth University), represented SEB on the second panel and put her question to Prof Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, on how policy and urban agriculture can help provide food security and reduce environmental stress. 

“Increasingly we have the possibility of growing crops in completely novel ways, such as hydroponic systems, and that’s going to be part of the solution,” he responded. “But I don’t think there is any single magic bullet answer; one has got to look through all of the lenses: Productivity, sustainability, waste, transport, logistics, and good politics really do matter when you are feeding vulnerable populations.”

If you would like to be involved in this event, look out for news of next year’s Voice of the Future, when you too could have the opportunity to question politicians directly and see the inner workings of a Parliamentary select committee. 

Author: SEB
Category: Member News