A chemical engineer from Daventry visited the House of Commons to question MPs and ministers about science policy.
Ruth Turner was chosen to represent the Institution of Chemical Engineers at Voice of the Future, an event organised by the Royal Society of Biology.
Voice of the Future invites young professionals to act as representatives of their professional learned societies, taking part in a panel discussion, where they can put questions to Members of Parliament about future policies.
Ruth, 24, who joined three other young chemical engineers last week, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to gain further insight into the influence of science and engineering on a national and global level.”
The event was the first of its kind since the General Election, with the science and universities minister Jo Johnson MP; the shadow minister for business, innovation and skills Yvonne Fovargue MP; the Government’s Chief scientific advisor Sir Mark Walport; and members of the House of Commons science and technology select committee, all on the panel ready to answer the young engineers and scientists questions.
Dr Stephen Benn, the Royal Society of Biology’s director of parliamentary affairs, said: “This is a unique event – in no other part of Parliament is the normal select committee format completely reversed so that MPs, the minister and the shadow minister have to answer questions rather than ask them.”
“It is important that policy makers use reliable evidence in their decisions, and today’s young scientists and engineers will be a vital part of this in the future.”
In a message to the panel, astronaut Tim Peake said: “We need to create opportunities for growth, and to inspire our younger generation to gain the skills they need for the exciting careers that await them in the space sector.”