Imperial College London

Exchanging expertise can 'embed science into policymaking' - Alice Gast

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The Forum at Imperial: policymakers and scientists discuss vaccines in the Data Science Institute

Government and scientists can learn more from each other, writes President Alice Gast in the Times.

Sharing Dame Kate Bingham's concerns at the lack of scientific skills and expertise in Westminster and Whitehall, Professor Gast said: "When opportunities are created, policymakers and scientists engage with one another enthusiastically. This changes the culture on both sides." 

When opportunities are created, policymakers and scientists engage with one another enthusiastically. Professor Alice Gast President

She cites The Forum, Imperial's policy engagement programme, which "has brought together civil servants and scientists to tap into emerging research and policy thinking on data privacy, AI and health, air quality, online harms, vaccines, plastics and health resilience. " 

The Royal Society's pairing scheme has allowed scientists and parliamentarians to step into each other's shoes, including at Imperial.

"Such schemes fulfil a fraction of the voracious appetite for working together," says Professor Gast.

The full letter can be read in the Times.

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Andrew Scheuber

Andrew Scheuber
Communications Division

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