This scheme builds bridges between parliamentarians, civil servants and some of the best research scientists in the UK. Participating scientists are paired with either an MP or civil servant and the Royal Society supports them by arranging a ‘Week in Westminster‘ (a series of events about science in Government and Parliament) and reciprocal visits between scientists and their MP or civil servant.
The scheme aims to help MPs and civil servants establish longstanding links with practicing research scientists and to help research scientists understand political decision making and its associated pressures. Since 2001 over 150 scientists have been paired with MPs and civil servants. Evaluation has shown almost all the MPs find the scheme enhances their awareness of scientific issues and issues surrounding science research and universities. The feedback from scientists has shown they find the scheme significantly increases their understanding of parliament and the policy process.
For more information, including case studies from previous participants, visit: royalsociety.org/pairing-scheme