Imperial College London

From lab bench to backbench: Dr Quint visits Westminster


Houses of parliament

Dr Jennifer Quint from the National Heart and Lung Institute will be swapping a lab coat for legislation this week.

Dr Jennifer Quint will be visiting Lord Patel at the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall in Westminster this week. This is part of a unique pairing scheme run by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, with support from the Government Office of Science.

During her visit Dr Quint will shadow Lord Patel, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, and learn about his work. As well as attending seminars and panel discussions about how evidence is used in policy making, and attend a mock Select Committee. The visit will provide a behind the scenes insight into how policy is formed and how research can be used to make evidence-based decisions. It will also give Lord Patel the opportunity to investigate the science behind his decisions and improve their access to scientific evidence. 

Dr Jennifer Quint said "I am interested to learn more about how policy is informed by science. When I saw this scheme advertised I thought it would be interesting to get more insight at a high level as to how these things work, to see the interplay between scientific evidence and policy making".

Dr Jennifer Quint

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said, “It is crucial that we invest in the relationship between scientists and politicians, so that either profession can articulate and appreciate the pressures confronted by both. The Royal Society Pairing Scheme does just this, endowing scientists with a fascinating insight into parliament, and connecting policymakers with the best innovative thinking in the world, and in the process, enabling both to draw from and engage with the mutual expertise needed to address the challenges of our time.”

The Royal Society’s pairing scheme, which started in 2001, aims to build bridges between parliamentarians, civil servants and some of the best scientists in the UK.

Lord Patel will get hands on experience of scientific research when he dons a lab coat to visit Dr Quint at the National Heart and Lung Institute later this year.

Photo by Hugo Sousa on Unsplash


Ms Helen Johnson

Ms Helen Johnson
National Heart & Lung Institute

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6843

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