The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, founded in 1939, is a major focus for scientific and technological issues providing a liaison between Parliamentarians and scientific bodies, science-based industry and the academic world. The Committee focuses on issues where science and politics meet, informing Members of both Houses of Parliament. It demonstrates the relevance of scientific and technological developments to matters of public interest and to the development of national policy.
Meetings and Visits
The Committee meets once a month when Parliament is sitting to debate a scientific or technological topic and its relationship with political issues. These take place in the Palace of Westminster, starting at 5.30pm and are followed by an informal reception. Attendance is typically around 70 of which several will be Parliamentarians. Most are followed by a working dinner where the informal atmosphere facilitates open and wide-ranging discussion between Parliamentarians and those most closely concerned with the evening’s topic
The Committee arranges occasional visits to industrial and scientific establishments. A party of a dozen or so will include two or three Parliamentarians who will thereby have an in-depth introduction to an aspect of the world of science or technology.
The Committee’s annual lunch is a significant event in the Parliamentary calendar. Parliamentarians and leaders of the scientific establishment and industry assemble to hear an address. The Guest of Honour in 2013 was Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser.
Science in Parliament
Science in Parliament, the journal of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, presents a comprehensive record of science, technology, engineering and mathematics within both Houses of Parliament. It is published four times a year.
STEM for Britain
STEM for Britain is an annual poster competition and exhibition in the House of Commons for early-stage researchers in all scientific disciplines. Full details are available at www.setforbritain.org.uk
Membership is open to Universities, Scientific and Technical Organisations, industrial companies and organisations representing those affected by science. Each member is asked to nominate a representative but anyone from the organisation is welcome to come to any meeting. The work of the Committee is supported by members’ subscriptions.