Foreign Secretary speaks at RSC Parliament Event
27 June 2006
The Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP at the RSC's Parliamentary Links Day at the House of Commons
Mrs Beckett was speaking to a packed house at the Royal Society of Chemistry's Parliamentary Links Day, organised by RSC parliamentary affairs team Stephen Benn and Julie Smart.
Mrs Beckett said very many young people were enthusiastic about issues involving climate change.
But many were concerned science was somehow 'meddling' with the environment. She said: "Young people need to understand the only way of tackling the environmental problems about which they care so much is to use the scientific and engineering approach."
The theme of this year's event was "Science and Globalisation", and Mrs Beckett spoke passionately about the need to work with China and India to strengthen the UK's science base.
She said: "The Foreign Office is playing an important role in building links with key partners such as China and India.
"Yesterday, for example, saw the first Indo-UK Science and Innovation Council. This started three days of events designed to achieve economic growth through science and innovation."
Working with scientists across the globe, was, said Mrs Beckett, vital - particularly in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, China and India, which are seeing the highest rises in carbon dioxide emissions.
Wave energy projects with Brazil and hydrogen production and storage projects with China were given as examples of such collaboration.
RSC president Dr Simon Campbell CBE spoke of how globalisation had been a key instrument of success at Pfizer, the company at which he spent a successful career spanning 26 years.
He also spoke proudly of the RSC's commitment to globalisation, including the recent opening of an RSC Beijing office.
Institute of Biology chief executive Alan Malcolm addressed the challenges of GM crops worldwide.
Other speakers included Bob Kirby-Harris, chief executive of the Institute of Physics, Royal Society foreign secretary Dame Julia Higgins (the only person in the country to share Mrs Beckett's title of foreign secretary) and Peter Saraga, vice president and international secretary of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
An international viewpoint was provided by Zhiyong Jin, first secretary for science and technology at the Chinese Embassy, and Jason Hahn, science and technology spokesman at the US Embassy.
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