My father was a civil engineer and I am well aware, as a medical doctor with a holistic perspective on health, that his profession has done more to increase human health and happiness than mine. Sewage systems (of which he built not a few) spring to mind – but energy, transport, construction and agriculture are all pretty crucial. The Green Party perspective is that the survival of our species, at least in any recognisably “civilised” form, is ultimately dependent on the health of planet Earth’s ecosystem. Currently, growth in prosperity is heavily dependent on exploiting natural and human resources in an inequitable and unsustainable way. Green philosophy and policies are about redefining prosperity and achieving it without damaging future generations.
Author Archives: Jillian Creasy, Green PPC
STEM skills lead to well-paid employment in rural Wales / Sgiliau STEM wrth wraidd cyflogaeth safonol yn y Gymru wledig
The constituency of Dwyfor Meirionnydd in North Wales has been the home of major developments in scientific innovation and energy production.
Maentwrog station was the largest power station in Britain when it opened in 1928, and still produces hydro electricity. Ffestiniog Power Station was the UK’s first major pumped storage facility.
Having spent most of my working life teaching secondary mathematics (and being married to a biologist) I heartedly endorse the CaSE campaign. There can be no doubt that, if Britain is to have a prosperous future, it will need to be a world leader in significant aspects of science.
If anyone wants an insight into the state of modern UK vs the past, I would suggest your first point if call is the lecture by James Dyson delivered at the Richard Dimbleby Lecture in 2004.
Following that, look at the statistics. In 1950 Britain produced 25% global trade. In 1970 that had dropped to 10% and today is nearer 3%. Yes the world has grown economically but let’s look at employment. In 1980 25% (5m) of the workforce were involved with manufacturing. Today, only 8% (2.6m) are involved. Successive governments have turned their back on this important engine of economic growth.
Because science and engineering are key to the long-term future of Delyn, Wales and the wider UK, I would support the sector as the Member of Parliament for Delyn.
Scientific endeavour is inherently worthwhile, expanding the frontier of human understanding – and it’s also a key driver of the economy.
Brunel University – in my constituency – is named of course after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, possibly the greatest engineer Britain has ever produced.
Britain’s industrial might in the 19th century was built on the backs of people like Brunel, Stephenson, Fleming and Sturgeon and later scientific discoveries by Turing, Hawking, Crick & Watson, have continued to make Britain a world leader in science.
At the heart of the Green Party vision for our local communities, for the country as a whole and for the world, is a new green industrial revolution. We believe the historical contribution to science and engineering made by UK scientists and scientific institutions, including our world leading universities, and the accumulated scientific knowledge in the UK, makes this country well placed to lead this vision.
The value of science, technology and manufacturing cannot be emphasised enough. In the context of the British people, the list of significant and influential people from these Isles in terms of the science, technology and engineering contributions in times past and present, where would one start? From the Industrial revolution to the advances in medical research of today, British scientists, skilled technicians and engineers have all changed the face of the world as we know it.
The world is suffering from a serious carbon addiction, and the development of reliable renewable energy offers the only panacea. Combatting the encroaching terrors of anthropogenic climate change is an urgent necessity – not only for us – but also for every future generation. And this is a hefty example of why science and engineering remain essential. Here in the North East – where I was born and grew up, and now live, work, and am running for parliament as a Conservative candidate – the power of renewable energy is particularly resonant.
Filling the demand for new engineering jobs will generate an additional £27 billion per year for the UK economy from 2022, the equivalent of building 1,800 schools or 110 hospitals, according to new research published in Engineering UK 2015 The State of Engineering. To meet projected employer demand the number of engineering apprentices and graduates entering the industry will need to double.The report, produced by EngineeringUK, analyses the engineering industry’s capacity and capability for growth and details engineering in education, training and employment. It shows that engineering accounts for a quarter (24.9%) of UK turnover – 9% higher than at the start of the recession. However, we need more engineers. Engineering companies will need 182,000 people per year with engineering skills in the decade to 2022 but there is a current annual shortfall of 55,000 skilled workers.
Anyone viewing the popular programme on railways presented by Michael Portillo cannot fail to be amazed and impressed by the feats of engineering undertaken by the Victorians. The amazing viaducts, the waterworks, the canals, the mines and above all the many and varied installation of different types of railway demonstrate clearly why the Victorian period was unparalleled in its inventiveness and in bringing about a huge change in the economy.
In 1854, Queen Victoria re-opened the Crystal Palace in its new location in Sydenham. This iconic building, which now gives the surrounding area its common name, is one of the most famous symbols of Britain’s Victorian age of science and engineering prowess.
Crystal Palace is my home, and part of the constituency I am running for, Lewisham West and Penge.
I am a passionate supporter of science and technology. Our future is dependent on producing more physicists, engineers, mathematicians, biologists and equipping them to tackle the significant problems that we all face on this planet.
As a Labour MP in a Labour Government my voice will be heard loudly in support of increasing our pool of scientific skills. I will not sit idly by like the Conservatives and expect the market to take the responsibility for providing our scientific human resources. This is the role of responsible government.
I love science. I’m a Maths and Physics teacher and grew up on TV series like Star Trek and books like ‘The Elegant Universe’. As a teacher, I specialised in taking those who ‘hate maths’ or ‘just don’t understand’ physics and making them see that it is relevant and fun. Science permeates every part of our lives from the air we breathe to the iPhones we buy. I believe it should lie at the heart of every Government department.
For the longest time the Sciences have been neglected in Britain. As I sit here and write these words on a laptop, with my mobile phone next to me and the sound of BBC Parliament in the background I’m reminded that without the scientific community I would still be writing with a quill on parchment. We depend so much in our daily lives on the output of the scientific community, and yet the sciences appear to be the poor relations when it comes to education funding and investment.
The next government’s prioritisation of STEM subjects will mark either an epoch-defining moment or one of lost opportunity. There are both immediate and longer term challenges, which, if swerved, will end up as a millstone around the neck of economic growth for years to come.
If I am elected on 7 May, my background will make me very unusual among MPs. I am 43 years old, state educated, and have never had a paid job in politics or any of its sub-industries. I have been an airline pilot for the past 15 years and I was an engineer and telecoms project manager in the years before that. My degree was in Electronic and Electrical Engineering. It is from this perspective that I view the importance of science and engineering in the UK and around the world today.
South Wales and the South West of England is a region with a rich engineering heritage. You don’t have to travel far before you encounter an example of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s work, still serving its purpose today, such was the quality of his engineering.
The South Wales city of Newport grew and thrived on the back of heavy industry, engineering and coal, and the evidence is all around; sadly, in long deserted workshops, crumbling steel foundries, and empty docks that once exported what we manufactured to the world.
I was asked what science & engineering means to me. Most of the time it means having my son blind me with science ever since I built him a cardboard TARDIS when he was younger!
But since I was asked, I had a look around. History being my first love and in the range of books about history I came across a ‘Science year by year’ starting at 2.5mya-2013. In that was Jethro Tull’s 1701 seed drill which planted seeds in uniform equally-spaced rows. By giving seeds enough space to grow, it increased yields and reduced waste during sowing. This shows what Science and engineering can achieve; but I had also put in my manifesto about planning.
When I was invited by Nick Hall of the Campaign for Science and Engineering to submit a blog on the importance Science and Engineering, it was not the fact that I am the SNP candidate for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath that motivated me to respond. It was something much more personal.