Dr. Nina Moran from GE Healthcare Life Sciences will be swapping a lab coat for legislation, when she visits Mr. Roger Williams MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, at the House of Commons for a “Week in Westminster” as part of a unique ‘pairing’ scheme run by the Royal Society the UK’s national academy of science.
Dr. Moran is a Forensic Molecular Biologist working as part of GE Healthcare’s Cardiff-based team which is developing new technologies for human identification to assist forensic service providers and police forces. This is especially relevant given the recent review by the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee into the provision of forensic science services in the UK.
The visit this week will provide Dr. Moran with a behind-the-scenes insight into how science policy is formed as well as an understanding of the working life of an MP from shadowing Mr. Williams MP. Whilst in Westminster, she will learn about his work and attend Parliamentary events including Prime Minister’s Question Time and meet with Professor David MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Mr. Williams MP will in turn make a reciprocal visit to GE Healthcare.
On the upcoming visit, Dr. Moran said: “I believe it is important for scientists to engage with politicians and civil servants to support the development of informed policy. I am keen to share my scientific experience with Mr. Williams and in turn gain an insight into how policy makers work day-to-day and find out how science policy is formed.”
Mr. Roger Williams MP said,“I always value taking part in the Royal Society MP Pairing Scheme as science is a major interest in my political work and Wales’ reputation through its universities and growing businesses within the field. So I look forward to meeting with Dr. Nina Moran in Westminster and at the GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ site in Cardiff, one of the leading life science hubs in the UK. Furthermore, the scheme is a great way to keep up to date with the challenges of engaging in a career in science.”
Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society said: “We live in a world facing increasing challenges that can only be addressed with a clear understanding of science. From climate change to influenza outbreaks, GM food to nuclear power, our MPs have to make decisions about complex issues that will affect the lives of all those in the UK and, in many cases, more widely throughout the world. This means that MPs and scientists have a responsibility to engage with each other to get the best possible scientific advice into public policy making.
We set up the Royal Society’s MP Scientist pairing scheme in 2001 to provide the opportunity for MPs and scientists to build long-term relationships with each other and have now organized over two hundred pairings.
I know many parliamentarians and scientists who have gained from the scheme, and the shaping of public policy can only improve over time as these relationships continue to grow.”
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.
Forensic science at GE Healthcare
Forensic scientists play an important role in determining what has happened at a crime scene. DNA fingerprinting, in which unique patterns of short DNA fragments are identified in biological samples collected from the crime scene or a suspect, is a fundamental tool and is widely used as evidence in criminal trials globally. GE Healthcare is working to support better standards and has developed an automated rapid DNA analysis instrument which can generate a DNA fingerprint in under 90 mins and requires no specialized laboratory facilities, refrigeration or technical personnel to run.
About the Royal Society Pairing Scheme
The Royal Society’s MP-Scientist pairing scheme aims to build bridges between parliamentarians and some of the best scientists in the UK. It is an opportunity for MPs to become better informed about science issues and for scientists to understand how they can influence science policy. Over 200 pairs of scientists and MPs have taken part in the scheme since it was launched in 2001.
1. Further information about the Royal Society Pairing Scheme, as well as case studies, can be found at royalsociety.org/.
2. The Royal Society is the UK’s national academy of science. Founded in 1660, the Society has three roles, as a provider of independent scientific advice, as a learned Society, and as a funding agency. Our expertise is embodied in the Fellowship, which is made up of the finest scientists from the UK and beyond. Our goals are to:
• Invest in future scientific leaders and in innovation;
• Influence policymaking with the best scientific advice;
• Invigorate science and mathematics education;
• Increase access to the best science internationally;
• Inspire an interest in the joy, wonder and excitement of scientific discovery.