This week I’ve been taking part in the Royal Society pairing scheme for Scientists and MPs. By far the best thing that happened during my ‘Week in Westminster’ is that my local MP, Lilian Greenwood, asked a question in the House of Commons to the Minister for Buisness, Innovation and Skills about the importance of fundamental research.
Here’s the transcript of her question and the reply from David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science:
Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) (Lab): Does the Minister agree that investing in fundamental research is vital to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and to create conditions for the serendipitous discoveries of the future?
Mr Willetts: I completely agree with the hon. Lady, which is why the Government support fundamental research. Only last week I went to the launch of £250 million of public money for centres of doctoral training run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
I’m planning to write more about my experiences on the scheme over the next couple of days.