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Science and the Parliament 2023

22 November 2023, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Join us for the 23rd annual Science and the Parliament event at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. Designed to foster close relations with policymakers and key stakeholders, Science and the Parliament is organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, on behalf of, and in cooperation with, the Scottish science and engineering community.
The event includes a speaker’s programme of key note speeches and panel sessions including with MSPs from across the political parties, an exhibition space where you can network with colleagues from across the sector, an awards ceremony for young people, and an early evening reception. This year’s event will focus on STEM education.
A full provisional programme will be shared shortly along with speakers profiles.
Don’t miss this opportunity to network with colleagues from across the sector, share your work and ideas, and help push Science and STEM up the politcal agenda at Holyrood.



Lauren Boath, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

As Senior Lecturer in Education in the University of Glasgow's School of Education, Lauren is responsible for developing beginning and qualified teachers, both within science and more widely across the Master's level programmes and has broader responsibility for the ITE and undergraduate portfolio in the School of Education in her role as Director of Initial Teacher Education and Undergraduate.
Lauren completed her PhD in Science Education at Trinity College, Dublin, having undertaken her undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Strathclyde and PGCE at Dundee University, and was a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Dundee. She has also previously worked at Learning and Teaching Scotland and Education Scotland and was involved in the development of the new National Qualifications in sciences.

Graeme Dey MSP, Minister for Higher and Further Education, United Kingdom

Graeme Dey was appointed as Minister for Higher and Further Education; and Minister for Veterans in March 2023. His portfolio includes responsibility for science and STEM. He is MSP for Angus South constituency.
He was born and raised in Aberdeen. After graduating, he pursued a career in journalism - working for the Dundee Courier as a sports journalist. He is married with two grown up children.
He was Minister for Transport from 2021 to 2022, having previously served as Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans from 2018 to 2021. During his time as Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey worked on the roll-out of free bus travel for under-22s and plans to reduce car travel to meet climate targets.

Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, Scottish Labour, United Kingdom

Pam Duncan-Glancy is a Scottish Labour MSP for the Glasgow region. She is the party spokesperson for Education and Skills. In Parliament she is a member of the Education, Children and Young People Committee and sits on a range of Cross-Party Groups including as Convenor of the CPG on Poverty and the CPG on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions.
Pam entered Parliament in 2021. Prior to her election she worked in public health communications for NHS Health Scotland and sat on the Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy and on the Commission on Parliamentary Reform. She has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Health Psychology from the university of Stirling, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Citizenship and Human Rights from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Gill Reid CChem FRSC FRSE, President, Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom

Gill Reid is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Southampton and was Head of School between 2016 and 2020.
Born and raised in Grangemouth, Scotland, Gill obtained both her BSc and PhD at the University of Edinburgh, before being appointed to a lectureship in Chemistry at Southampton in 1991.
 Her research focuses on synthetic coordination and organometallic chemistry and their use in chemical vapour deposition and electrodeposition for the controlled growth of functional semiconducting thin film and nanostructured materials. These have important applications, such as solid-state memory, thermoelectric energy harvesting and battery materials. She also works on the development of metal-chelate binders for fluorine-18 towards positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and is the author of over 350 research papers.
 She previously served as an RSC Trustee (2011-15) and chaired the Outreach Working Group until 2018.

Bruce Robertson, Headteacher and Author, Berwickshire High School, United Kingdom

Bruce Robertson is the Rector (headteacher) Berwickshire High School in the Scottish Borders. He is also the author of ‘The Teaching Delusion’ trilogy and ‘Power Up Your Pedagogy: The Illustrated Handbook of Teaching’, published by John Catt Educational. Of Power Up Your Pedagogy, Professor Rob Coe of Evidence Based Education says: ‘To all teachers I would say: study this book, learn from it and act on it’. Bruce has been working in education for over 20 years, having training as a chemistry teacher at The University of Edinburgh in 2002. He is passionate about pedagogy, curriculum and school leadership.

Janet Brown , Convenor RSE Education Committee, United Kingdom

Janet holds a BSc in Physics and a PhD in Physical Metallurgy & Materials Science. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Fellow of the Institute of Physics.
Janet has held leadership roles in Education, Economic Development and Industry and has worked in research and technology development both in academia and the private sector. She has a keen interest in knowledge and skills development across all sectors of education and training.
 She was Chief Executive of SQA and since retiring in 2019, Janet has taken on a variety of non-executive roles and is Convenor of the Education Committee of the RSE.

Martin Hendry, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Martin Hendry is Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow, where he is also currently Vice-Principal and Clerk of Senate and he was previously Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy from 2012-2020.  Martin is a senior member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration: the global team of more than 1500 scientists who in 2015 made the first ever detection of gravitational waves from two colliding black holes more than a billion light years away – a discovery awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics. 
When he is not hunting for black holes, Martin is a passionate advocate and champion of STEM education and public engagement. Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is currently RSE Vice-President for Public Engagement and a member of RSE Council and Trustee. He is also convenor of the Learned Societies Group on Scottish STEM Education and is a Fellow, former Council Member and Scotland Chair, of the Institute of Physics.

Ibiye Iyalla, Robert Gordon University, United Kingdom

Dr Ibiye Iyalla is the Associate Dean for Business Development in the School of Engineering RGU and Academic Lead representing Robert Gordon University on the National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA) delivery group, overseeing the development and delivery of Upskilling courses for Energy Transition. Ibiye worked as a Subsea Engineer in the Oil & Gas industry and as a Production Supervisor in manufacturing industry prior to joining academia. He has a first degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, MSc in Oil & Gas Engineering and PhD based on research work on Subsea Pipeline on bottom Stability. He develops and delivers training for National and International Energy companies and Government establishments. His expertise covers Sustainable Oil & Gas production, Subsea Engineering, Decommissioning and Energy Transition/NetZero and Renewable Energy Technologies. Ibiye is a Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Energy Institute (EI) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

Clare Adamson MSP, Scottish National Party, United Kingdom

Clare is the MSP for the Motherwell and Wishaw constituency and first entered Parliament in 2011. She is currently Convenor of the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee and is also Convenor of the Cross-Party Group on Science and Technology.
Clare is passionate about education and STEM subjects; particularly women’s representation in these sectors. Away from parliament she is a Vice-Chair of the Scottish Schools Education Resource Centre (SSERC)
Clare was born in Motherwell and raised in Wishaw. She studied Computer Information Systems at Glasgow Caledonian University, graduating with a BSc (with distinction), before entering the IT industry where she latterly worked as a European Development Manager at a Glasgow document management firm. 

Julie Fitzpatrick, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, United Kingdom

Julie Fitzpatrick was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland in June 2021.  This is a part-time position within the Scottish Government, which Julie carried out as a secondment from her roles as Scientific Director of Moredun Research Institute and CEO of The Moredun Foundation until her retirement from Moredun in September 2023. Julie continues to be CSA, with an extended term now until September 2025.  She also holds a Chair in Food Security at the University of Glasgow’s College of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences. 

As CSA Scotland, Julie champions the use of science to inform policy development.  She works closely with the Scottish Science Advisory Council, of which she is an ex-officio member, to help ensure that the Scottish Government has access to the best scientific advice to inform its work across all policy areas.  The CSA is also a keen advocate, across Scotland and further afield, of our world-leading science base and its potential to benefit our economy, people and environment. 

Julie qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Glasgow's Vet School, gained a PhD in mucosal immunology from the University of Bristol and has a Masters degree in Epidemiology through distance-learning from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of Scotland in 2008 and was awarded an OBE for services to livestock research in 2014.  She was awarded the Royal Smithfield Club Bicentenary Trophy for contributions to agriculture in 2016 and the Dalrymple-Champney’s Cup for veterinary research in 2018.  She has acted as Vice Chair of GALVmed, a public-private partnership funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Department For International Development; Co-Chair of the Scottish Food Commission; and she was a previous member of the Board of Quality Meat Scotland and chair of the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre’s (SAIC) Independent Scientific Panel until 2021.   At the UK level she was Chair of the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, and Non-Executive Director of the Animal and Plant Health Agency. She is currently a Board member of VistaMilk and Chair of SACIDS (the southern African centre for infectious disease surveillance). Her personal research focused on infectious diseases of cattle, sheep and goats with particular emphasis on mastitis, welfare and developing countries. 

Derek Jones, Open University, United Kingdom

Derek Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Design at The Open University (UK) and part of the OU Design Group, where he is co-leading developing of a number of new courses in design. Derek is a National Teaching Fellow and has experience in developing online learning environments for design education. His main research interests are: the pedagogy of design and creativity, embodied cognition in physical and virtual environments, and theories of design knowledge. Derek is the Convenor of the Design Research Society’s Education special interest group and a qualified architect with 15 years of experience in the construction design and procurement industries.

Fiona Jackson, Forth Valley College, United Kingdom

Fiona is Curriculum Manager STEM and Construction at Forth Valley College. She joined the College in 1997 delivering night classes before securing a lecturing position within the Department of Computing. In 2011 she was appointed Curriculum and Quality Leader covering Science, Computing and Maths, before becoming Curriculum Manager for Science and Maths in 2012.

Liam Kerr MSP, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, United Kingdom

Liam Kerr MSP was elected to the Scottish Parliament on the North East list in May 2016. Liam served as Shadow Justice Secretary from 2017 to 2021 and as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party in 2019. Following re-election in 2021 Liam was appointed Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport before being appointed as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. In addition to his Shadow Cabinet Secretary role, Liam has tackled a wide variety of issues both local and national and is dedicated to working for and speaking out on behalf of everyone in the North East.
Outside Parliament Liam worked as a sous-chef in Edinburgh before attending Edinburgh University, graduating with a degree in sociology. Liam worked as a commission-based telecoms salesman and as a session musician in London before retraining as a lawyer. Liam moved to Aberdeen in 2004 to work as an employment lawyer. Since moving to Aberdeen, Liam has given lectures at RGU and Aberdeen University, and acted as non-exec director of two prominent North-East charities.

Registration is now open!

The event is free to attend but we ask that you register to guarantee your place.
There will be a full programme available soon. 

For those wanting to book travel the event will start at 12pm and finish at 7pm.
A selection of exhibition opportunities are available for companies and organisations who would like to promote their activities at Science and the Parliament 2023.

If you would like more information about sponsoring, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on
Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS, United Kingdom

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