Science and the Senedd/Gwyddoniaeth a’r Senedd

28 September 2021 10:30-12:30, United Kingdom


Online event

Following the Royal Society of Chemistry’s subsequent decision not to hold events for the remainder of this year, Science and the Senedd will now take the form of a zoom webinar on 28th September from 10:30 to 12:30 BST.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Designed to foster close relations between policymakers and the Welsh science and engineering community.

The theme will will deal with aspects of Climate Science and Sustainability, ahead of the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.
Liz Bagshaw, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

MSci in Geographical Sciences from University of Bristol, 2005
PhD (2008) and postdoctoral training (2008-2014) in glaciology and engineering at the University of Bristol
Lecturer (2014-2018) and Senior Lecturer (2018-present) at School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Cardiff University.
My research is concerned with the impact of glacier melting on downstream ecosystems, and in the development of new technologies to measure it. I focus on biogeochemical processes, from the microorganisms that live on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, to the interactions of meltwater with rocks beneath the ice. You can read about one of our inventions for tracking meltwater here:

Peter Halligan, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, United Kingdom

Professor Halligan gained qualifications in psychology, philosophy and education at University College Dublin. In 1985, he moved from Ireland to work at a specialist NHS neuro-rehabilitation Centre in Oxford as a research psychologist while also pursuing a PhD in neuropsychology. In 1987, he joined the Neuropsychology Unit at the Department of Clinical Neurology in Oxford University and in 1997 following a MRC Senior Research Fellowship award, joined the Department of Experimental Psychology in Oxford.
In 2000, he moved to Cardiff’s School of Psychology as a Distinguished Research Professor and in 2003, he played a central role in establishing Cardiff University’s Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), becoming the founding Director.
From 2010-2014, he was Chair and Academic lead of the Welsh Crucible, the all -Wales staff leadership programme for early career researchers. In 2012, he joined Universities Wales as Head of Strategic Futures as part of a 2 year secondment.
In March 2018, he moved from the role of Chief Executive at the Learned Society of Wales to become the third Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, working in the Welsh Government.
Prof Halligan is a research psychologist and neuroscientist by background. He has worked in neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry and neuro-rehabilitation and has published over 200 papers including papers in Nature, BMJ, Lancet, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Trends in Cognitive Science and also edited 10 books.

Sandra Esteves, University of South Wales, United Kingdom

Sandra Esteves is a Professor in Bioprocess Technology for Resource Recovery (Energy and Materials) and is the Director for Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion based at the University of South Wales. She has over 20 years’ experience in biotechnology research, development and full scale industrial deployment. Sandra has directed over £10M of R&D projects funded by the EU, Innovate UK, BEIS, Welsh Government and Research Councils and the private sector. Sandra is a co-chair of the European Biogas Association' Scientific Advisory Council and has collaborated with over 200 companies. Sandra’s areas of work relate to microbial conversions of wastes into energy, chemicals and materials.

Tom Rippeth, Bangor University, United Kingdom

Tom Rippeth is the Professor of Physical Oceanography at Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences, one of the largest University centres of marine science in Europe. His research focuses measuring ocean turbulence with the aim of improving our understanding of how the ocean works. In this presentation he will focus on research carried out in Bangor over the past 15 years which has revealed the growing influence of Atlantic water in melting Arctic Sea ice and the potential impacts of the declining sea ice on Wales weather. 

Ian Mabbett, Swansea University , United Kingdom

Ian is an Associate Professor in Chemistry at Swansea University and COO of the SUNRISE project, bringing energy positive buildings to India and the Global South. His research has mostly focussed on rapid, non-fossil fuel heating or curing of industrial coatings and energy materials such as photovoltaics and energy storage, along with colleagues at the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre. He also has research interests in water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as bio-derived replacements for petrochemical based products. More recently his interests have evolved into transdisciplinary research and systems approaches to unpick global challenges including climate change.

Janet Finch-Saunders MS, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, United Kingdom

Janet has been the Welsh Conservative MS for Aberconwy since 2011, and is currently the Shadow Minister for Climate Change. 

Janet previously represented the Welsh Conservative group as Shadow Minister for Local Government from 2012 – 2018, and then as the Shadow Minister for Social Care, Children, Young People, and Older People. During the fifth Senedd, she was delighted to have been elected as the former Chair of the Senedd's Petitions Committee. Since 2020, Janet has sat on the Senedd's Climate Change, Energy & Rural Affairs Committee.

Janet has previously represented the Craig-Y-Don ward on Llandudno Town Council, and Conwy County Borough Council. At the Local Authority, she sat as the Cabinet Member with overall responsibility for Community Safety, and held the roles of Chair of the Principal Scrutiny Committee and Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group. Janet is proud to be a former Mayor of Llandudno, a position held by both her parents before her.

Politically, Janet’s key focuses are ensuring more investment in health and social services – particularly for the elderly and those suffering with mental health illnesses; reducing regulation and red tape for farmers; ensuring the full rollout of superfast broadband to rural areas; and reducing waste in Government at all levels. As a keen business woman and entrepreneur, Janet has founded a number of successful local businesses. She is supportive of new start-ups and established SMEs, and initiated the Cross-Party Group on Small Shops during the Fourth Assembly.

Janet is passionate about animals and marine conservation and she is a keen sailor. Janet is married to Gareth Saunders, they live in Llandudno and have two children together – Adam and Hannah.

Paul Lewis, Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom

Paul Lewis is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). As COO, Paul provides leadership to cross-organisational operations in accordance with our strategy, budget and business plans to ensure that organisational goals and objectives are met. Paul leads our international STM journals, books and data publishing business with supporting technology and, sales & marketing teams as well as overseeing our global operations. Paul has a wider organisational leadership role, developing RSC strategy and capabilities as well as representing the RSC in the UK and internationally. A qualified teacher with an MBA, he has substantial senior leadership experience in the educational assessment, adult training and, STM sectors with specialist government-to-government consulting and, international operating expertise. Paul is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and, Institute of Leadership & Management in the UK. He was born and lives in Cardiff.

Zoom Webinar

Zoom Webinar, United Kingdom

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