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Parliamentary Links Day: science and public trust

Posted by on June 23, 2014

Speaker opens Links Day 2013By Sophie Kleanthous, intern at the Society of Biology

Parliamentary Links Day is upon us once more with a whole host of key speakers, discussing trust and public engagement with science. The Society of Biology organises Links Day on behalf of the science and engineering community to build strong relationships with Parliament and MPs. The topic at this year’s event is ‘Science and Public Trust’ and you can follow all the action on Twitter using the hashtag  #LinksDay2014 (on Tuesday 24th June).

The discussion will focus on the issues of establishing public trust and the importance of engaging with the public to make the sciences more accessible and integrated into society. The Government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Mark Walport, and the Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills RT Hon Liam Byrne MP, are giving the keynote addresses at the event.

The IPSOS MORI 2014 public attitudes to science poll shows that UK citizens are very interested in science and revealed that 72% people value/understand the need for the everyday workings of scientific research in their lives.

The expansion of social media and constant news updates via the web is supporting the awareness of the developments ranging from stem cell research to climate change.

There is, however, a concern that science can be misrepresented and misinterpreted. Poor quality science, misrepresentation in the media and perceived corporate influences on science can erode trust.

These issues will be addressed further in the debates tomorrow. Do you think enough is being done to make science accessible to all? How important are the sciences to you? Join us on Twitter and tell us what you think.

Speakers and panellists include:

Andrew Miller, chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee

Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities and Science

Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Dr Frances Saunders, President of the Institute of Physics

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society

Dr Chris Tyler, Director of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Welcome Trust

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