Published: 03 December 2013

Surrey researcher swaps her lab coat for legislation

Dr Patrizia Camelliti is taking part in a Week in Westminster, a scheme giving leading scientists the chance to peek behind the scenes at the House of Commons and discover how the British Government forms science policy.

A Week in Westminster is part of a pairing scheme run by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of Science, and aims spark positive relationships between parliamentarians, civil servants and leading UK scientists.

The scheme offers civil servants the opportunity to embrace science issues and enables scientists to explore how they can influence science policy.

Dr Camelliti, who recently joined Surrey as Lecturer in Cardiovascular Biology, has been paired with civil servant Dr Farhana Amin, Senior Scientific Officer at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

During her visit to Westminster, Dr Camelliti will learn more about Dr Amin’s work, attend Prime Minister’s Question Time and meet Professor David MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. 

Dr Camelliti, whose research aims to develop lifesaving therapies for cardiovascular diseases, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to learn how government science and higher education policy decisions are taken and how my research could inform and directly contribute to policy making.

"My hope is that through discussion with politicians it will be possible to improve the working conditions of the many scientists that devote their lives to research in the UK. Encouraging scientists to become more aware of government decision making will hopefully enhance their influence on science policy and build a more productive and rewarding environment for science and innovation in the UK and beyond."

Read more about cardiovascular research at Surrey and the Royal Society pairing scheme.

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