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NERC Parliamentary Reception

Posted on 25 October 2017

Professor Ally Lewis and Dr Sarah Moller from the Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories (WACL) attended a National Environment Research Council (NERC) Parliamentary Reception on Monday 16th October.

(l:r) Stephen Metcalfe, Ally Lewis, Frank Kelly and Sarah Moller

The reception, hosted by Stephen Metcalfe MP, aimed to bring NERC research, researchers and partners into the Houses of Parliament to showcase how NERC helps find solutions to the problems facing people, society and the economy such as working with Parliament to ensure our evidence informs policy, and engages the UK public with environmental science evidence.

The themes for the reception focused on solutions such as improving air quality, safeguarding natural resources and increasing resilience of UK infrastructure. 

Professor Lewis was representing the excellent air quality science carried out at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and by the Atmospheric Chemistry Group at the University of York. Dr Moller spoke to attendees about her role as knowledge broker between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the air quality research community, providing impartial scientific advice on air quality issues and strategic evidence priorities.

Attendees included MPs, peers, Chief Scientific Advisors and representatives from the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, House of Commons Library and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The focus of the evening was one-to-one discussions between attendees. There were also speeches on “Environmental science evidence and public policy”, highlighting the relevance of science to inform key policy debates.

Speeches were given by Stephen Metcalfe MP, current member and previous Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee; Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee; and Duncan Wingham, NERC CEO.

They all spoke about the importance of evidence for policy making, with Stephen Metcalfe sporting an 'I love evidence' badge and Mary Creagh encouraging attendees to continue making valuable contributions to committee inquiries and calls for evidence.

Dr Moller said: "This was an interesting event and a great opportunity to hear from parliamentarians about how much they value the research we do and our efforts to communicate it to decision makers." 

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