November 10th was a busy day at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Bea Perks/Edinburgh, UK
November 10th was a busy day at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. ’I think that this is the biggest attendance at a members’ business debate that we have had, certainly in this parliamentary building, and I thank those in the public gallery for attending,’ said Robert Brown, MSP for Glasgow.
This year’s Science and the Parliament event, organised annually by the RSC, was attended by 340 delegates from the fields of science and politics, many of whom then attended a parliamentary debate on science.
Scotland punches above its weight in globally produced research, says Brown, producing an estimated one per cent of the research with only 0.1 per cent of the population. Science needs to be part of the mainstream, he says. ’Its concepts and idioms must be familiar to non-scientists, to those taking arts courses and to those who do not go on to higher education,’ he urged. Science is key to Scotland’s future and must be nurtured and encouraged, he said. ’It must be made relevant and contemporary so that it can excite and enthuse.’
Delegates were impressed, and relieved, to find such enthusiasm for their endeavours among ministers who had spent most of the day discussing the thorny, and rather better publicised, issue of smoking in enclosed public places.