Imperial College London

Supporting Spanish Science in Parliament initiative

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Dr Enrique Castro-Sanchez was recently selected as a technical expert in infectious diseases to support the Spanish Science in Parliament initiative

The NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) and Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is delighted to announce that Dr Enrique Castro-Sanchez, Lead research nurse has been recently selected as a technical expert in infectious diseases to support the Spanish Science in Parliament initiative (www.cienciaenelparlamento.org, #cienciaenelparlamento).

This independent, non-partisan project is based on the principles of citizen science, which aims to foster a culture of evidence-based policymaking and implementation in Spain, as well as ensuring that societal needs are reflected in scientific priorities for research. To achieve such goals the project will encourage regular contacts between politicians and civil servants, and scientists, technologists and innovators to facilitate effective shared decision-making in areas with the greatest challenges.

Science in Parliament mirrors initiatives already in place across Europe, with a network of parliamentary advice offices (www.eptanetwork.org) that combine evidence and insights from experts, citizens and other stakeholders to inform politicians and policymakers on areas such as nanotechnology, energy, climate change, or digital tools.

Infectious diseases were selected as one of the priority, socially relevant topics which required consideration by politicians due to the already existing evidence on their impact on Spanish citizens and healthcare system. In collaboration with other technical experts, Enrique will review and input on evidence syntheses reflecting the state-of-the-art in infectious diseases, which then will be presented to politicians. The syntheses will not present any recommendations for action, in order to avoid any conflict of interests and with the view that decisions about the topics presented ought to be made by the politicians and appointed experts.

A two-day, kick-off Science in Parliament event will take place before the end of the year in Madrid, embedded within the 40th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution, where citizens, politicians and scientists will debate about research priorities and policymaking.

Enrique’s participation in this Science in Parliament fits well with increasing attention towards ensuring that research outputs about drug-resistant infections are accessible and useful to citizens and policymakers, encouraging their participation in efforts to improve the use of antibiotics. Enrique recently published a policy analysis of national European antimicrobial resistance plans focused on the role given to society, and also received a Biomedical Research Centre Patient and Public Involvement Award to develop a policy laboratory with citizens.

Reporter

Rakhee Parmar

Rakhee Parmar
Department of Infectious Disease

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 3313 3231
Email: r.parmar@imperial.ac.uk

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