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Southampton scientists take their science to Parliament

Published: 
15 March 2013

Young scientists from the University of Southampton will be attending Parliament to present their science to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain on Monday 18 March.

Seven students have been shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament and will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

Physicist Kate Sloyan, an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow in the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), is one of the students who have been selected. On presenting her science in Parliament, Kate says: “I’m very pleased to have been chosen. It sounds like the day will be interesting and I’m looking forward to talking to non-specialists about my work, as well as meeting the other exhibitors. I’m also pretty excited about going back to the Houses of Parliament.”

Dr Nick Alderman, Doctoral Prize Researcher in Chemistry, says: “I feel honoured to be selected for this prestigious event and I am looking forward to showcasing my research and the University on the highest stage.”

All presenters are entered into the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry), or the physical sciences (physics) session, depending on their specialism.

Kate Sloyan

Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £3,000, while silver and bronze receive £2,000 and £1,000 respectively.

Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said, “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

“These early career scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.

Notes for editors

SET for Britain is a poster competition in the House of Commons - involving approximately 180 early stage or early career researchers - judged by professional and academic experts. All presenters are entered into either the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry), or the physical sciences (physics) session, depending on their specialism.

Each session will result in the reward of Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates. Bronze winners will receive a £1,000 prize; Silver, £2,000; and Gold, £3,000. There will also be an overall winner from the four sessions who will receive the Westminster Wharton Medal.

SET for Britain was established by Dr Eric Wharton in 1997. Following his untimely death in 2007, the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, with support from The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry, The Physiological Society and the Society of Chemical Industry are working together to further his legacy.

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